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Reconstruction of Seasonal Net Erosion in a Mediterranean Landscape (Alento River Basin, Southern Italy) over the Past Five Decades

Met European Research Observatory-International Affiliates Program of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, 82100 Benevento, Italy
UCA, INRA, VetAgro Sup, Unité Mixte de Recherche sur Écosystème Prairial (UREP), 63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(11), 2306;
Received: 28 August 2019 / Revised: 16 October 2019 / Accepted: 31 October 2019 / Published: 4 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rainfall Erosivity in Soil Erosion Processes)
In the low Mediterranean basin, late spring and autumn rainfall events have the potential to increase discharge and transport substantial amounts of sediment soil (that is, the net soil erosion from a watershed). For the Alento River Basin (ARB), located in the low Tyrrhenian coast of Italy, we estimated changes of net erosion as dependent on the seasonality of antecedent soil moisture and its control on rainfall-runoff and erosivity. Based on rainfall and runoff erosivity sub-models, we developed a simplified model to evaluate basin-wide sediment yields on a monthly basis by upscaling point rainfall input. For the period 1951–2018, the reconstruction of a time series of monthly net erosion data indicated a decreasing trend of the sediment yield after 1991. Revegetation and land abandonment that occurred in the last decades can explain such a decrease of net erosion, which occurred even when rainfall erosivity increased. This response, obtained at the basic scale, does not exclude that rapidly developing mesoscale convective systems, typically responsible for the heaviest and most destructive rainfall events in the ARB, can affect small catchments, which are the most vulnerable systems to storm-driven flash floods and soil erosion hazards during soil tilling in spring and at beginning of autumn. View Full-Text
Keywords: erosive rainfall; parsimonious modeling; river basin; soil erosion erosive rainfall; parsimonious modeling; river basin; soil erosion
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Diodato, N.; Bellocchi, G. Reconstruction of Seasonal Net Erosion in a Mediterranean Landscape (Alento River Basin, Southern Italy) over the Past Five Decades. Water 2019, 11, 2306.

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