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Special Issue "Soil Erosion by Water"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Hydrology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Panos Panagos

European Commission Joint Research Centre Land Resource Management Unit Via Enrico Fermi 2749 21027 Ispra, VA Italy
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +39-0332-785574
Interests: soil erosion by water; modelling; land degradation; soil organic carbon; soil conservation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue will discuss new trends in modelling soil erosion from local, regional, national and continental scale. Preference will be given to new introduced modeling techniques for estimating soil loss by water (or wind). Authors can submit their work related to each of the main factors contributing to erosion modelling: Soil, climate (rainfall), topography, land cover, crop management and conservation practices. The Special Issue can include research studies related to rainfall erosivity and interactions with natural hazards or ecosystem services. We also encourage submissions on the impact of soil conservation policies, future land use changes (including scenario analysis) and climate change in soil erosion modeling. Special focus will be also given to model erosion in agricultural lands. This Special Issue can also include relevant topics such as dessertification, land degradation and sediment transport.

Dr. Panos Panagos
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1500 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

  • soil erosion by water
  • wind erosion
  • land degradation
  • agricultural practices
  • soil conservation
  • rainfall erosivity

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Fingerprinting Suspended Sediment Sources in an Urbanized Watershed
Water 2018, 10(11), 1573; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10111573
Received: 19 September 2018 / Revised: 26 October 2018 / Accepted: 29 October 2018 / Published: 3 November 2018
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Abstract
The elevated supply of fine-grained sediment to a river system negatively impacts the water quality and ecosystem health. Therefore, quantification of the relative contribution from different sources to in-stream sediment is of major interest to target sediment mitigation best management practices (BMPs). The
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The elevated supply of fine-grained sediment to a river system negatively impacts the water quality and ecosystem health. Therefore, quantification of the relative contribution from different sources to in-stream sediment is of major interest to target sediment mitigation best management practices (BMPs). The objective of this study was to determine the relative contribution from different sources of suspended sediment in an urbanized watershed (31 km2) located in the eastern part of Alabama, USA. Estimates of relative contributions from individual source types were assessed for two different particle size fractions, 63–212 μm (fine sand) and <63 μm (silt and clay). Results of this study indicate that the construction sites were the dominant source of suspended sediment in this watershed. The average annual subwatershed-level surface runoff determined using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model varied from 2.3 to 11,980 mm ha−1 year−1. Areas that generate high surface runoff have the potential to contribute disproportionately high amounts of sediment to streams and therefore should be targeted for BMPs. The results of this study show that it is important to consider spatial and temporal variability in suspended sediment sources in order to develop and target sediment control management strategies. The sources of suspended sediment and sediment deposited on the stream bed might not necessarily be the same. Therefore, sampling both suspended sediment and stream bed sediment will improve our knowledge of watershed-level sediment transport processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Erosion by Water)
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Open AccessArticle Soil Erosion Modeling and Comparison Using Slope Units and Grid Cells in Shihmen Reservoir Watershed in Northern Taiwan
Water 2018, 10(10), 1387; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10101387
Received: 21 August 2018 / Revised: 28 September 2018 / Accepted: 28 September 2018 / Published: 3 October 2018
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Abstract
Soil erosion is a global problem that will become worse as a result of climate change. While many parts of the world are speculating about the effect of increased rainfall intensity and frequency on soil erosion, Taiwan’s mountainous areas are already facing the
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Soil erosion is a global problem that will become worse as a result of climate change. While many parts of the world are speculating about the effect of increased rainfall intensity and frequency on soil erosion, Taiwan’s mountainous areas are already facing the power of rainfall erosivity more than six times the global average. To improve the modeling ability of extreme rainfall conditions on highly rugged terrains, we use two analysis units to simulate soil erosion at the Shihmen reservoir watershed in northern Taiwan. The first one is the grid cell method, which divides the study area into 10 m by 10 m grid cells. The second one is the slope unit method, which divides the study area using natural breaks in landform. We compared the modeling results with field measurements of erosion pins. To our surprise, the grid cell method is much more accurate in predicting soil erosion than the slope unit method, although the slope unit method resembles the real terrains much better than the grid cell method. The average erosion pin measurement is 6.5 mm in the Shihmen reservoir watershed, which is equivalent to 90.6 t ha−1 yr−1 of soil erosion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Erosion by Water)
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Open AccessArticle Analysis of Soil Erosion Induced by Heavy Rainfall: A Case Study from the NE Abruzzo Hills Area in Central Italy
Water 2018, 10(10), 1314; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10101314
Received: 21 July 2018 / Revised: 8 September 2018 / Accepted: 11 September 2018 / Published: 22 September 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (10304 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Soil erosion induced by heavy rainfall deeply affects landscape changes and human activities. It depends on rainfall distribution (e.g., intensity, duration, cumulative per event) and is controlled by the interactions between lithology, orography, hydrography, land use, and vegetation. The Abruzzo piedmont coastal hilly
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Soil erosion induced by heavy rainfall deeply affects landscape changes and human activities. It depends on rainfall distribution (e.g., intensity, duration, cumulative per event) and is controlled by the interactions between lithology, orography, hydrography, land use, and vegetation. The Abruzzo piedmont coastal hilly area has been affected by several heavy rainfall events in the last decades. In this work, we investigated three ~1-day heavy rainfall (>35 mm/h and 100–220 mm/day) events in 2007, 2011, and 2012 that occurred in the clayey hilly coastal NE Abruzzo area, analyzing cumulative rainfall, intensity, and duration while mapping triggered geomorphological effects (soil erosion and accumulation) and evaluating average erosion. The analysis provides contributions to a soil erosion assessment of clayey landscapes that characterizes the Adriatic hilly area, with an estimation of rainfall-triggering thresholds for heavy soil erosion and a comparison of erosion in single events with rates known in the Mediterranean area. The triggering threshold for heavy soil erosion shows an expected value of ~100–110 mm. The estimated average soil erosion is from moderate to high (0.08–3.08 cm in ~1-day heavy rainfall events) and shows a good correlation with cumulative rainfall and a poor correlation with peak rainfall intensity. This work outlines the strong impact of soil erosion on the landscape changes in the Abruzzo and Adriatic hilly areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Erosion by Water)
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Open AccessArticle Is Overgrazing Really Influencing Soil Erosion?
Water 2018, 10(8), 1077; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10081077
Received: 20 July 2018 / Revised: 10 August 2018 / Accepted: 10 August 2018 / Published: 13 August 2018
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Abstract
Soil erosion is a serious problem spread over a variety of climatic areas around the world. The main purpose of this paper is to produce gully erosion susceptibility maps using different statistical models, such as frequency ratio (FR) and information value (IV), in
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Soil erosion is a serious problem spread over a variety of climatic areas around the world. The main purpose of this paper is to produce gully erosion susceptibility maps using different statistical models, such as frequency ratio (FR) and information value (IV), in a catchment from the northeastern part of Romania, covering a surface of 550 km2. In order to do so, a total number of 677 gullies were identified and randomly divided into training (80%) and validation (20%) datasets. In total, 10 conditioning factors were used to assess the gully susceptibility index (GSI); namely, elevation, precipitations, slope angle, curvature, lithology, drainage density, topographic wetness index, landforms, aspect, and distance from rivers. As a novelty, overgrazing was added as a conditioning factor. The final GSI maps were classified into four susceptibility classes: low, medium, high, and very high. In order to evaluate the two models prediction rate, the AUC (area under the curve) method was used. It has been observed that adding overgrazing as a contributing factor in calculating GSI does not considerably change the final output. Better predictability (0.87) and success rate (0.89) curves were obtained with the IV method, which proved to be more robust, unlike FR method, with 0.79 value for both predictability and success rate curves. When using sheepfolds, the value decreases by 0.01 in the case of the FR method, and by 0.02 in the case of the success rate curve for the IV method. However, this does not prove the fact that overgrazing is not influencing or accelerating soil erosion. A multi-temporal analysis of soil erosion is needed; this represents a future working hypothesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Erosion by Water)
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Open AccessArticle Land Use and Land Cover Changes (LULCC), a Key to Understand Soil Erosion Intensities in the Maritsa Basin
Water 2018, 10(3), 335; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10030335
Received: 30 December 2017 / Revised: 11 March 2018 / Accepted: 12 March 2018 / Published: 17 March 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (11993 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Soil erosion is a major environmental and economic concern affecting all continents around the world. Soil loss facilitates land degradation, threatening both agricultural and natural environments in continental Europe. The overall objective of the present study is to reveal temporal changes of erosion
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Soil erosion is a major environmental and economic concern affecting all continents around the world. Soil loss facilitates land degradation, threatening both agricultural and natural environments in continental Europe. The overall objective of the present study is to reveal temporal changes of erosion risk in the Maritsa Basin, and also assess the temporal effects of land use and land cover changes (LULCC) on the gross erosion rate. The Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) was utilized to monitor the distribution of the erosion risk zones and soil loss in the basin. The variables were either directly derived from the satellite imagery or computed using established equations or previous studies. The dynamic parameters were categorized into two-time frames as 1990 and 2015. The results indicate that the annual average erosion rate decreased from 0.895 to 0.828 t ha−1 year−1. This reduction is within the range of modeling error, potentially originated from input data uncertainties. The most extensive changes in the gross soil loss were found in both agricultural and artificial areas, which emphasize the significance of these two classes in soil erosion models. The research summarized here enhances understanding the impacts of land use and land cover (LULC) classes on erosion intensities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Erosion by Water)
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Open AccessArticle Estimation of Sediment Yield Change in a Loess Plateau Basin, China
Water 2017, 9(9), 683; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9090683
Received: 19 July 2017 / Revised: 30 August 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
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Abstract
Soil erosion is one of the most serious land degradation problems and the primary environmental issue in the Loess Plateau region of China. To identify the critical sub-basins and assess the impacts of land use change and climatic variability change on soil loss,
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Soil erosion is one of the most serious land degradation problems and the primary environmental issue in the Loess Plateau region of China. To identify the critical sub-basins and assess the impacts of land use change and climatic variability change on soil loss, this study tested the feasibility of the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model on sediment load simulation in the upper Sang-kan (USK) River basin. Based on a land use map of 1986, the SWAT model (Scenario 0) was calibrated at a monthly step using climate data from 1979 to 1985; then it was validated using climate data from 1986 to 1990. The monthly sediment simulation results indicated that the model did not work as well as streamflow simulation, indicating lower NS (Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency) and r2 values of 0.68, 0.69 and 0.61, 0.59 for the calibration period and validation period, respectively. This model could perform well under relatively low rainfall events, but it underestimated or overestimated the sediment load under high rainfall events. Comparing the results of scenarios with different land use maps (year of 1986 vs. 2012) and climate periods (1979–1990 vs. 2001–2012), it can be concluded that: (i) extreme and severe erosion almost always happened in FRST (forest land) and RNGE (grassland) in the hilly area; (ii) long-term traditional farming weakens the soil anti-erosion capability of land, leading to higher soil erosion, while forest can improve the soil structure, enhance the soil anti-erosion capability, and reduce soil erosion; (iii) both land use change and climatic change have led to the sediment yield decrease in the USK basin. Acting as the major influencing factor, land use change contributed to about 64.9% of the sediment yield reduction in the USK river basin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Erosion by Water)
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Open AccessArticle Estimation of Suspended Sediment Loads Using Copula Functions
Water 2017, 9(8), 628; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9080628
Received: 15 June 2017 / Revised: 2 August 2017 / Accepted: 17 August 2017 / Published: 22 August 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2949 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Suspended sediment load (SSL) observations are usually less frequent than precipitation and river discharge measurements; therefore a reliable procedure is needed for the estimation of SSL. One year of precipitation, SSL, and discharge measurements at 20-min intervals were performed
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Suspended sediment load (SSL) observations are usually less frequent than precipitation and river discharge measurements; therefore a reliable procedure is needed for the estimation of SSL. One year of precipitation, SSL, and discharge measurements at 20-min intervals were performed at the Kuzlovec torrent in Slovenia. The Frank copula was selected to construct an event-based model using the following variables: precipitation sum (P), peak discharge (Q), and SSL. The idea was to estimate the SSL based on the measured P and Q. The proposed model was additionally tested using the daily data from the Gornja Radgona station on the Mura River, for which 29 years of data were available and where Khoudraji-Liebscher copulas were used. The estimated SSL values using the copula were compared with different regression models. The proposed copula model yielded meaningful SSL estimates. Some performance criteria and tests indicated that the copula model gives a better fit to the measured data than other tested methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Erosion by Water)
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Open AccessArticle Daily Based Morgan–Morgan–Finney (DMMF) Model: A Spatially Distributed Conceptual Soil Erosion Model to Simulate Complex Soil Surface Configurations
Water 2017, 9(4), 278; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9040278
Received: 24 February 2017 / Revised: 10 April 2017 / Accepted: 11 April 2017 / Published: 17 April 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (338 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, we present the Daily based Morgan–Morgan–Finney model. The main processes in this model are based on the Morgan–Morgan–Finney soil erosion model, and it is suitable for estimating surface runoff and sediment redistribution patterns in seasonal climate regions with complex surface
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In this paper, we present the Daily based Morgan–Morgan–Finney model. The main processes in this model are based on the Morgan–Morgan–Finney soil erosion model, and it is suitable for estimating surface runoff and sediment redistribution patterns in seasonal climate regions with complex surface configurations. We achieved temporal flexibility by utilizing daily time steps, which is suitable for regions with concentrated seasonal rainfall. We introduce the proportion of impervious surface cover as a parameter to reflect its impacts on soil erosion through blocking water infiltration and protecting the soil from detachment. Also, several equations and sequences of sub-processes are modified from the previous model to better represent physical processes. From the sensitivity analysis using the Sobol’ method, the DMMF model shows the rational response to the input parameters which is consistent with the result from the previous versions. To evaluate the model performance, we applied the model to two potato fields in South Korea that had complex surface configurations using plastic covered ridges at various temporal periods during the monsoon season. Our new model shows acceptable performance for runoff and the sediment loss estimation ( NSE 0.63 , | PBIAS | 17.00 , and RSR 0.57 ). Our findings demonstrate that the DMMF model is able to predict the surface runoff and sediment redistribution patterns for cropland with complex surface configurations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Erosion by Water)
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Open AccessArticle Applying SHETRAN in a Tropical West African Catchment (Dano, Burkina Faso)—Calibration, Validation, Uncertainty Assessment
Water 2017, 9(2), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9020101
Received: 2 December 2016 / Accepted: 4 February 2017 / Published: 9 February 2017
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Abstract
This study presents the calibration and validation of the physically based spatially distributed hydrological and soil erosion model SHETRAN for the Dano catchment, Burkina Faso. A sensitivity analysis of six model parameters was performed to assess the model response and to reduce the
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This study presents the calibration and validation of the physically based spatially distributed hydrological and soil erosion model SHETRAN for the Dano catchment, Burkina Faso. A sensitivity analysis of six model parameters was performed to assess the model response and to reduce the number of parameters for calibration. The hydrological component was calibrated and validated using observed discharge data of two years. Statistical quality measures (R2, NSE, KGE) ranged from 0.79 to 0.66 during calibration and validation. The calibrated hydrological component was used to feed the erosion modeling. The simulated suspended sediment load (SSL) was compared with turbidity‐based measurements of SSL of two years. Achieved quality measures are comparable to other SHETRAN studies. Uncertainties of measured discharge and suspended sediment concentration were determined to assess the propagated uncertainty of SSL. The comparison of measurement uncertainties of discharge and SSL with parameter uncertainty of the corresponding model output showed that simulated discharge and SSL were frequently outside the large measured uncertainty bands. A modified NSE was used to incorporate measurement and parameter uncertainty into the efficiency evaluation of the model. The analyses of simulated erosion sources and spatial patterns showed the importance of river erosion contributing more than 60% to the total simulated sediment loss. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Erosion by Water)
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