Special Issue "Capture the Process! Dynamic Approaches in Geomorphology, Hydrology and Soil Physics"

A special issue of Geosciences (ISSN 2076-3263).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Thomas Iserloh
Website
Guest Editor
Trier University, Department of Physical Geography, Trier, Germany
Interests: geomorphological, hydrological and soil-physical processes; process-based analysis of soil erosion and recent geomorphodynamics
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Miriam Marzen
Website
Guest Editor
Trier University, Department of Physical Geography, Trier, Germany
Interests: soil erosion; experimental methods; soil degradation and desertification; geomorphodynamics; wind-driven rain

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The world we live in is a four-dimensional matrix of dynamic processes. To understand and to study processes and how they evolve is one of the biggest challenges to present science, particularly concerning sciences as lively and diverse as the ones investigating shape and shaping of the planet’s surface: Geomorphology, Hydrology and Soil Physics.

While closely interlinked, every discipline focusses its original questions and aims by means of respective scientific approaches and methods. Traditional concepts often attempted to remove spatial and temporal variability through homogenization, often by statistical averaging. Today, scientists constantly adapt theoretical concepts, field and lab methods and modeling approaches from stationary and deterministic to processual and stochastic concepts, which reflect the fluctuating and mutable character of the disciplines’ range of subjects. Scientific community, governments and stake-holders urgently need realistic estimations of geomorphological, hydrological and soil physical processes at different scales.

We are convinced that a profound process understanding is a fundamental requirement for substantial advances in modern environmental research, and we are very interested how you capture your process!

We ask you to share with us your recent work in Geomorphology, Hydrology and Soil Physics about:

  • Conceptual advances in process understanding
  • Surface runoff and interflow
  • Flume, rainfall and wind experiments
  • Processual changes through scales (e.g. landscapes to hillslopes)
  • Soil physical and hydrological impact on landscape evolution
  • Combination of modeling/ experimental approaches
  • Interaction between geomorphological, hydrological and soil physical processes

Dr. Thomas Iserloh
Dr. Miriam Marzen
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Geomorphology
  • Hydrology
  • Soil physics

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Colony-Forming Unit Spreadplate Assay versus Liquid Culture Enrichment-Polymerase Chain Reaction Assay for the Detection of Bacillus Endospores in Soils
Geosciences 2020, 10(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10010005 - 21 Dec 2019
Abstract
A liquid culture enrichment-polymerase chain reaction (E-PCR) assay was investigated as a potential tool to overcome inhibition by chemical component, debris, and background biological impurities in soil that were affecting detection assay performance for soil samples containing Bacillus atrophaeus subsp. globigii (a surrogate [...] Read more.
A liquid culture enrichment-polymerase chain reaction (E-PCR) assay was investigated as a potential tool to overcome inhibition by chemical component, debris, and background biological impurities in soil that were affecting detection assay performance for soil samples containing Bacillus atrophaeus subsp. globigii (a surrogate for B. anthracis). To evaluate this assay, 9 g of matched sets of three different soil types (loamy sand [sand], sandy loam [loam] and clay) was spiked with 0, ~4.5, 45, 225, 675 and 1350 endospores. One matched set was evaluated using a previously published endospore concentration and colony-forming unit spreadplate (CFU-S) assay and the other matched set was evaluated using an E-PCR assay to investigate differences in limits of detection between the two assays. Data illustrated that detection using the CFU-S assay at the 45-endospore spike level started to become sporadic whereas the E-PCR assay produced repeatable detection at the ~4.5-endospore spike concentration. The E-PCR produced an ~2-log increase in sensitivity and required slightly less time to complete than the CFU-S assay. This study also investigated differences in recovery among pure and blended sand and clay soils and found potential activation of B. anthracis in predominately clay-based soils. Full article
Open AccessArticle
On-Site Water and Wind Erosion Experiments Reveal Relative Impact on Total Soil Erosion
Geosciences 2019, 9(11), 478; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9110478 - 14 Nov 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
The relative impact of water and wind on total erosion was investigated by means of an experimental-empirical study. Wind erosion and water erosion were measured at five different sites: (1) Mediterranean fallow, (2) Mediterranean orchard, (3) wheat field, (4) vineyard and (5) sand [...] Read more.
The relative impact of water and wind on total erosion was investigated by means of an experimental-empirical study. Wind erosion and water erosion were measured at five different sites: (1) Mediterranean fallow, (2) Mediterranean orchard, (3) wheat field, (4) vineyard and (5) sand substrate. Mean erosion rates ranged from 1.55 to 618 g·m−2·h−1 for wind and from 0.09 to 133.90 g·m−2·h−1 for rain eroded material over all tested sites. Percentages (%) of eroded sediment for wind and rain, respectively, were found to be 2:98 on Mediterranean fallow, 11:89 on Mediterranean orchard, 3:97 on wheat field, 98:2 on vineyard and 99:1 on sand substrate. For the special case of soil surface crust destroyed by goat trampling, the measured values emphasize a strong potential impact of herding on total soil erosion. All sites produced erosion by wind and rain, and relations show that both erosive forces may have an impact on total soil erosion depending on site characteristics. The results indicate a strong need to focus on both wind and water erosion particularly concerning soils and substrates in vulnerable environments. Measured rates show a general potential erosion depending on recent developments of land use and climate change and may raise awareness of scientist, farmers and decision makers about potential impact of both erosive forces. Knowledge about exact relationship is key for an adapted land use management, which has great potential to mitigate degradation processes related to climate change. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Rock Glacier Kinematics in the Kaunertal, Ötztal Alps, Austria
Geosciences 2019, 9(9), 373; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9090373 - 28 Aug 2019
Abstract
The quantification of rock glacier kinematics on a regional basis has gained increasing importance in recent years. Here, we applied an image tracking approach on high-resolution aerial imagery to infer surface kinematics of 129 mapped rock glaciers in the Kaunertal, Austrian Alps. We [...] Read more.
The quantification of rock glacier kinematics on a regional basis has gained increasing importance in recent years. Here, we applied an image tracking approach on high-resolution aerial imagery to infer surface kinematics of 129 mapped rock glaciers in the Kaunertal, Austrian Alps. We find significant surface movement for 30 features with mean velocities falling between 0.11 and 0.29 m yr−1 and a maximum of 1.7 m yr−1. Local analysis and comparison to earlier studies reveals significant increases in rock glacier velocities in the study area. From the rock glacier inventory and high-resolution digital topography, we computed a series of morphometric parameters to analyze potential controls on rock glacier creep and to predict rock glacier activity using random forests and logistic regression models. The results point towards a stronger dependence of velocities on parameters describing general inclination, potentially acting as proxies for internal rock glacier properties, while activity states seem to be regulated mainly by rock glacier dimensions and topoclimate. Using a parameter subset, we successfully separated active from inactive rock glaciers with accuracies of up to 77.5%, indicating a promising approach to predict rock glacier activity solely relying on parameters that can be derived from regionally available data sets. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Soil Compaction on Runoff Formation. A Case Study Focusing on Skid Trails at Forested Andosol Sites
Geosciences 2019, 9(5), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9050204 - 08 May 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
This study discusses the influence of soil compaction on runoff generation with a special focus on forested Andosol sites. Because of their typical soil physical characteristics (low bulk density, high pore volumes) and the existent land use, these areas are expected to show [...] Read more.
This study discusses the influence of soil compaction on runoff generation with a special focus on forested Andosol sites. Because of their typical soil physical characteristics (low bulk density, high pore volumes) and the existent land use, these areas are expected to show low to no measurable overland flow during heavy rainfall events. However, due to heavy machinery traffic in the course of forestry actions and pumice excavations, skid trails have been established. Here, a distinct shift of soil dry bulk density (DBD) was observable, using a detailed soil mapping and data interpolation in order to generate in-depth DBD-cross profiles. Additionally, infiltration measurements and rainfall simulations (I = 45 mm·h−1, t = 30 min) were conducted to evaluate effects of observed soil compaction on infiltration rates and overland flow formation. Results show that soil compaction was increased by 21% on average in skid trail wheel ruts. As a consequence, observed runoff was 8.5-times higher on skid trails, while saturated hydraulic conductivity was diminished by 36%. These findings show, that soil compaction leads to a higher possibility of runoff formation during heavy rainfall events, especially at sites which showed initial conditions with presumably low tendencies of runoff formation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Geophysical and Sedimentological Investigations of Peatlands for the Assessment of Lithology and Subsurface Water Pathways
Geosciences 2019, 9(3), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9030118 - 08 Mar 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Peatlands located on slopes (herein called slope bogs) are typical landscape units in the Hunsrueck, a low mountain range in Southwestern Germany. The pathways of the water feeding the slope bogs have not yet been documented and analyzed. The identification of the different [...] Read more.
Peatlands located on slopes (herein called slope bogs) are typical landscape units in the Hunsrueck, a low mountain range in Southwestern Germany. The pathways of the water feeding the slope bogs have not yet been documented and analyzed. The identification of the different mechanisms allowing these peatlands to originate and survive requires a better understanding of the subsurface lithology and hydrogeology. Hence, we applied a multi-method approach to two case study sites in order to characterize the subsurface lithology and to image the variable spatio-temporal hydrological conditions. The combination of Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) and an ERT-Monitoring and Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), in conjunction with direct methods and data (borehole drilling and meteorological data), allowed us to gain deeper insights into the subsurface characteristics and dynamics of the peatlands and their catchment area. The precipitation influences the hydrology of the peatlands as well as the interflow in the subsurface. Especially, the geoelectrical monitoring data, in combination with the precipitation and temperature data, indicate that there are several forces driving the hydrology and hydrogeology of the peatlands. While the water content of the uppermost layers changes with the weather conditions, the bottom layer seems to be more stable and changes to a lesser extent. At the selected case study sites, small differences in subsurface properties can have a huge impact on the subsurface hydrogeology and the water paths. Based on the collected data, conceptual models have been deduced for the two case study sites. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Simplified Approach to Assess the Soil Saturation Degree and Stability of a Representative Slope Affected by Shallow Landslides in Oltrepò Pavese (Italy)
Geosciences 2018, 8(12), 472; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8120472 - 12 Dec 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
The identification of the triggering mechanism of rainfall-induced, shallow landslides requires a complete understanding of the hydro-mechanical response of soil, which can be represented through the trends of the degree of soil saturation. In this paper, multiple annual cycles of soil saturation obtained [...] Read more.
The identification of the triggering mechanism of rainfall-induced, shallow landslides requires a complete understanding of the hydro-mechanical response of soil, which can be represented through the trends of the degree of soil saturation. In this paper, multiple annual cycles of soil saturation obtained through field monitoring were used to validate an empirical model based on climate data. Both field measurements and model outputs were used to conduct simplified slope stability analysis to evaluate the model chain capability in predicting the temporal occurrence of shallow failures. Field data were collected on a testsite slope located in Oltrepò Pavese (Northern Italy), where a shallow landslide occurred during the monitoring period. The experimental trends of the degree of saturation at various depths in the soil profile were compared with the calculated values and showed good agreement. Landslide triggering is reached when the soil is completely saturated. Both measured and modeled trends of soil saturation correctly identified the triggering time of the shallow landslide and the depth of the sliding surface, 1.0 m below the ground surface, in the test slope. The obtained results indicated the possibility of extending this approach for theassessment of the initiation time and the depth of shallow landslides, particularly for preliminary susceptibility evaluations, based on widely available climate data. Full article
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