The impact of ponds on basins has recently started to receive its well-deserved scientific attention. In this study, pond-induced impacts on soil erosion and sediment transport were investigated at the scale of the French Claise basin. In order to determine erosion and sediment transport patterns of the Claise, the Coordination of Information on the Environment (CORINE) erosion and Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) models were used. The impact of ponds on the studied processes was revealed by means of land cover change scenarios, using ponded versus pondless inputs. Results show that under current conditions (pond presence), 12.48% of the basin corresponds to no-erosion risk zones (attributed to the dense pond network), while 65.66% corresponds to low-erosion risk, 21.68% to moderate-erosion risk, and only 0.18% to high-erosion risk zones. The SWAT model revealed that ponded sub-basins correspond to low sediment yields areas, in contrast to the pondless sub-basins, which yield appreciably higher erosion rates. Under the alternative pondless scenario, erosion risks shifted to 1.12%, 0.52%, 76.8%, and 21.56% for no, low, moderate, and high-erosion risks, respectively, while the sediment transport pattern completely shifted to higher sediment yield zones. This approach solidifies ponds as powerful human-induced modifications to hydro/sedimentary processes.
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