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: 31 May 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Thomas Iserloh

Trier University, Department of Physical Geography, Trier, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Interests: geomorphological, hydrological and soil-physical processes; process-based analysis of soil erosion and recent geomorphodynamics
Guest Editor
Dr. Miriam Marzen

Trier University, Department of Physical Geography, Trier, Germany
Website | E-Mail
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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Keywords

  • Geomorphology
  • Hydrology
  • Soil physics

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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
Received: 11 March 2019 / Revised: 29 April 2019 / Accepted: 6 May 2019 / Published: 8 May 2019
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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
Received: 30 December 2018 / Revised: 29 January 2019 / Accepted: 1 February 2019 / Published: 8 March 2019
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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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Figure 1

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
Received: 9 November 2018 / Revised: 30 November 2018 / Accepted: 10 December 2018 / Published: 12 December 2018
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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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