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Article

Mapping Soil Degradation on Arable Land with Aerial Photography and Erosion Models, Case Study from Danube Lowland, Slovakia

1
Department of Physical Geography and Geoecology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University in Bratislava, Mlynská dolina, Ilkovičova 6, 842 15 Bratislava, Slovakia
2
National Agriculture and Food Centre, Soil Science and Conservation Research Institute, Trenčianska 55, 821 09 Bratislava, Slovakia
3
Department of Cartography, Geoinformatics and Remote Sensing, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University in Bratislava, Mlynská dolina, Ilkovičova 6, 842 15 Bratislava, Slovakia
4
Institute of Geography, Faculty of Science, Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice, Jesenná 5, 040 01 Košice, Slovakia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(24), 4047; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12244047
Received: 17 November 2020 / Revised: 8 December 2020 / Accepted: 8 December 2020 / Published: 10 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Soil Erosion)
The presented study uses the recent colour aerial photographs, historical black and white aerial photographs, and detailed digital elevation model to assess the spatial distribution and long-term temporal dynamics of soil loss in agriculturally intensively exploited loess hilly land with a subcontinental temperate climate. The strongly eroded soils appear in the studied area as bright patterns, surrounded by darker soils, and they are well visible on aerial photos. Three approaches of interpretation of aerial photographs were tested: visual interpretation, pixel-based image classification, and object-based image classification. All three methods provided detailed maps of soil redistribution patterns. The bright areas as the areas of soil degradation characterized by erosion increased from 1949 until 2011 by 76%. A detailed map of areal erosion patterns was used for the validation of water erosion models. LS-factor of USLE and ED’ index of USPED were selected for expressing the relation of real erosion to the terrain. The relationship between surface morphology and real erosion is very complex, and the tested water erosion models do not express it sufficiently. Therefore, the first and second-order directional derivative of the surface elevations with respect to the tillage direction has been tested. The absolute value of the first-order directional derivative showed better results and better corresponded with the real erosion pattern than the other morphometric characteristics. The findings suggest that tillage is the dominant erosion factor in the area. View Full-Text
Keywords: remote sensing; image interpretation; erosion mapping; tillage erosion; USPED; USLE remote sensing; image interpretation; erosion mapping; tillage erosion; USPED; USLE
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MDPI and ACS Style

Jenčo, M.; Fulajtár, E.; Bobáľová, H.; Matečný, I.; Saksa, M.; Kožuch, M.; Gallay, M.; Kaňuk, J.; Píš, V.; Oršulová, V. Mapping Soil Degradation on Arable Land with Aerial Photography and Erosion Models, Case Study from Danube Lowland, Slovakia. Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 4047. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12244047

AMA Style

Jenčo M, Fulajtár E, Bobáľová H, Matečný I, Saksa M, Kožuch M, Gallay M, Kaňuk J, Píš V, Oršulová V. Mapping Soil Degradation on Arable Land with Aerial Photography and Erosion Models, Case Study from Danube Lowland, Slovakia. Remote Sensing. 2020; 12(24):4047. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12244047

Chicago/Turabian Style

Jenčo, Marián, Emil Fulajtár, Hana Bobáľová, Igor Matečný, Martin Saksa, Miroslav Kožuch, Michal Gallay, Ján Kaňuk, Vladimír Píš, and Veronika Oršulová. 2020. "Mapping Soil Degradation on Arable Land with Aerial Photography and Erosion Models, Case Study from Danube Lowland, Slovakia" Remote Sensing 12, no. 24: 4047. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12244047

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