Soil loss caused by accelerated erosion is a growing problem in the Mediterranean belt ingeneral, and in many parts of the Calabrian region (Southern Italy), in particular. It is due tothe combination of peculiar geomorphological, pedological and climatic features, very oftenexacerbated by unsuitable land management. The aim of this study is to analyze and mapsoil loss by water-induced soil erosion at the catchment scale. Soil loss was quantified usingthe revised universal soil loss equation (RUSLE) model implemented in a geographicalinformation system. The RUSLE is an empirical model which estimates the average annualsoil loss that would generally result from splash, sheet and rill erosion. The analysis showsthat total soil loss estimated in the study area is 16,470.88 t yr−1 with an average annual soilloss of 5.65 t ha−1 yr−1. Spatial variation and rates of soil erosion are mainly linked to landuse, and the rate of soil erosion varies from less than 1 t ha−1 yr−1 in wooded areas to morethan 40 t ha−1 yr−1 in barren land. In addition, the comparison between soil loss and slopemaps shows that ∼47% of the estimated soil loss involves slopes with a gradient >20°. Themap shows seven classes of soil loss, with 8% in the upper three classes and 51% in thelowest class.

Soil loss assessment in the Turbolo catchment (Calabria, Italy)

ROBUSTELLI, Gaetano;SCARCIGLIA, Fabio
2016

Abstract

Soil loss caused by accelerated erosion is a growing problem in the Mediterranean belt ingeneral, and in many parts of the Calabrian region (Southern Italy), in particular. It is due tothe combination of peculiar geomorphological, pedological and climatic features, very oftenexacerbated by unsuitable land management. The aim of this study is to analyze and mapsoil loss by water-induced soil erosion at the catchment scale. Soil loss was quantified usingthe revised universal soil loss equation (RUSLE) model implemented in a geographicalinformation system. The RUSLE is an empirical model which estimates the average annualsoil loss that would generally result from splash, sheet and rill erosion. The analysis showsthat total soil loss estimated in the study area is 16,470.88 t yr−1 with an average annual soilloss of 5.65 t ha−1 yr−1. Spatial variation and rates of soil erosion are mainly linked to landuse, and the rate of soil erosion varies from less than 1 t ha−1 yr−1 in wooded areas to morethan 40 t ha−1 yr−1 in barren land. In addition, the comparison between soil loss and slopemaps shows that ∼47% of the estimated soil loss involves slopes with a gradient >20°. Themap shows seven classes of soil loss, with 8% in the upper three classes and 51% in thelowest class.
Soil loss; RUSLE; Geostatistics
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/142671
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