Special Issue "Modelling of Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion and Sediment Transport"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water Erosion and Sediment Transport".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2021) | Viewed by 8191

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Tomáš Dostál
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Civil Engineering, Dept. of Landscape Water Conservation, Czech Technical University in Prague (Ceské vysoké ucení technické v Praze ), Prague, Czech Republic
Interests: soil erosion; GIS application; sediment transport; soil erosion control; landscape water retention

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Now, under discussion about a sustainable future, soil is increasingly understood as a crucial nonrenewable resource, conditioning human beings not only as a food supplier, but recently also as critical agent of the hydrological cycle, carbon cycle, and global biodiversity. Soil erosion and related processes of sediment and bounded nutrients transport are understood as the most critical degradation forces.

The discipline of soil erosion processes has been growing since ca. 1990. At that time, the first computer models of erosion processes emerged and continuously grew in number and sophistication, divided principally into two branches: USLE and its implementation, including GIS application, and/or physically based models, with particular advantages in temporal and spatial discretization. Later the field turned to more complex models, including consequent processes of surface runoff and sediment transport.

This Special Issue should help to map the recent state of model development, as well as progress in the application of various models to study soil erosion processes, sediment transport, and the effects of control measures.

The interest of this Special Issue generally lies in new model development, the application of models in new conditions and tasks, the calibration and validation of individual models in specific nonstandard conditions, as well as the application and overall applicability of mathematical models in soil erosion control measure design and effectiveness assessment. Fundamental and applied research as well as engineering works are welcome.

We expect high-quality manuscripts, bringing novel information and approaches to enrich our overall knowledge. The advantage of the journal Water is that it offers the opportunity to publish your work with a very prompt review process, leading to the very rapid dissemination of your excellent results.

Dr. Tomáš Dostál
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • soil erosion
  • sediment transport
  • soil conservation
  • soil erosion control
  • tolerable soil loss
  • water quality

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Article
SMODERP2D—Sheet and Rill Runoff Routine Validation at Three Scale Levels
Water 2022, 14(3), 327; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14030327 - 23 Jan 2022
Viewed by 762
Abstract
Water erosion is the main cause of soil degradation in agricultural areas. Rill erosion can contribute vastly to the overall erosion rate. It is therefore crucial to identify areas prone to rill erosion in order to protect soil quality. Research on rainfall-runoff and [...] Read more.
Water erosion is the main cause of soil degradation in agricultural areas. Rill erosion can contribute vastly to the overall erosion rate. It is therefore crucial to identify areas prone to rill erosion in order to protect soil quality. Research on rainfall-runoff and subsequent sediment transport processes is often based on observing these processes at several scales, followed by a mathematical description of the observations. This paper presents the use of a combination of data obtained by different approaches at multiple scales to validate the SMODERP2D episodic hydrological-erosion model. This model describes infiltration, surface retention, surface runoff, and rill flow processes. In the model, the surface runoff generation is based on a water balance equation and is described by two separate processes: (a) for sheet flow, the model uses the kinematic wave approximation, which has been parameterized for individual soil textural classes using laboratory rainfall simulations, and (b) for rill flow, the Manning formula is used. Rill flow occurs if the critical water level of sheet flow is exceeded. The concept of model validation presented here uses datasets at different scales to study the surface runoff and erosion processes on the Býkovice agricultural catchment. The first dataset consisted of runoff generated by simulated rainfall on plots with dimensions of 2 × 8 m. The second dataset consisted of the runoff response to natural rainfall events obtained from long-term monitoring of 50 m2 plots. These two datasets were used to validate and calibrate the sheet flow and infiltration parameters. The third dataset consisted of occurrence maps of rills formed during heavy rainfalls obtained using remote sensing methods on a field plot with an area of 36.6 ha. This last dataset was used to validate the threshold critical water level that is responsible in the model for rill flow initiation in the SMODERP2D model. The validation and the calibration of the surface runoff are performed well according to the Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency coefficient. The scale effect was evident in the 50 m2 plots where parameters lower than the mean best fit the measured data. At the field plot scale, pixels with measured rills covered 5% of the total area. The best model solution achieved a similar rill cover for a vegetated soil surface. The model tended to overestimate the occurrence of rills in the case of simulations with bare soil. Although rills occurred both in the model and in the monitored data in many model runs, a spatial mismatch was often observed. This mismatch was caused by flow routing algorithm displacement of the runoff path. The suitability of the validation and calibration process at various spatial scales has been demonstrated. In a future study, data will be obtained from various localities with various land uses and meteorological conditions to confirm the transferability of the procedure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modelling of Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion and Sediment Transport)
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Article
Runoff Characteristics and Soil Loss Mechanism in the Weathered Granite Area under Simulated Rainfall
Water 2021, 13(23), 3453; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13233453 - 05 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 596
Abstract
Soils developed from the parent materials of highly weathered granite are particularly susceptible to soil erosion. Therefore, it is of great significance to conduct in-depth research on runoff characteristics and soil loss mechanisms in weathered granite areas. Using the weathered granite area in [...] Read more.
Soils developed from the parent materials of highly weathered granite are particularly susceptible to soil erosion. Therefore, it is of great significance to conduct in-depth research on runoff characteristics and soil loss mechanisms in weathered granite areas. Using the weathered granite area in the hilly region of southeastern China as the research object, we conducted indoor artificial rainfall simulation experiments involving three slope steepnesses (SSs), 8°, 15°, and 25°, and five rainfall intensities (RIs), 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, and 2.5 mm/min. The results showed that sediment load (SL) has positively linear relationships with mean runoff velocity (V), Reynolds number (Re), Froude number (Fr), shear stress (τ), and stream power (w). The eroded sediment was principally composed of silt and clay that accounted for 65.41–73.41% of the total SL. There was a boundary point at 0.02 mm for the particle size distribution (PSD) of the eroded sediment. The enrichment ratio (Er) of sand-grained particles (0.02–2 mm) ranged from approximately 0.45 to 0.65, while the Er of fine-grained particles (<0.02 mm) ranged from approximately 1.37 to 1.80. These results increase our understanding of the relationships among RI, SS, runoff, and soil losses from weathered granite hillslopes, particularly the relationships between different hydraulic parameters and sediment size characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modelling of Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion and Sediment Transport)
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Article
Modeling the Soil Erosion Regulation Ecosystem Services of the Landscape in Polish Catchments
Water 2021, 13(22), 3274; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223274 - 18 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 891
Abstract
In this study, the soil erosion regulation ecosystem services of the CORINE land use/ land cover types along with soil intrinsic features and geomorphological factors were examined by using the soil erosion data of 327 catchments in Poland, with a mean area of [...] Read more.
In this study, the soil erosion regulation ecosystem services of the CORINE land use/ land cover types along with soil intrinsic features and geomorphological factors were examined by using the soil erosion data of 327 catchments in Poland, with a mean area of 510 ± 330 km2, applying a multivariate regression modeling approach. The results showed that soil erosion is accelerated by the discontinuous urban fabric (r = 0.224, p ≤ 0.01), by construction sites (r = 0.141, p ≤ 0.05), non-irrigated arable land (r = 0.237, p ≤ 0.01), and is mitigated by coniferous forest (r = −0.322, p ≤ 0.01), the clay ratio (r = −0.652, p ≤ 0.01), and the organic content of the soil (r = −0.622, p ≤ 0.01). The models also indicated that there is a strong relationship between soil erosion and the percentage of land use/land cover types (r2 = [0.62, 0.82, 0.83, 0.74]), i.e., mixed forest, non-irrigated arable land, fruit trees and berry plantations, broad-leaf forest, sport and leisure facilities, construction sites, and mineral extraction sites. The findings show that the soil erosion regulation ecosystem service is sensitive to broadleaf forests, rainfed agriculture, soil water content, terrain slope, drainage network density, annual precipitation, the clay ratio, the soil carbon content, and the degree of sensitivity increases from the broadleaf forest to the soil carbon content. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modelling of Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion and Sediment Transport)
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Article
Temporal Influences of Vegetation Cover (C) Dynamism on MUSLE Sediment Yield Estimates: NDVI Evaluation
Water 2021, 13(19), 2707; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13192707 - 29 Sep 2021
Viewed by 2760
Abstract
Vegetation cover is an important factor controlling erosion and sediment yield. Therefore, its effect is accounted for in both experimental and modelling studies of erosion and sediment yield. Numerous studies have been conducted to account for the effects of vegetation cover on erosion [...] Read more.
Vegetation cover is an important factor controlling erosion and sediment yield. Therefore, its effect is accounted for in both experimental and modelling studies of erosion and sediment yield. Numerous studies have been conducted to account for the effects of vegetation cover on erosion across spatial scales; however, little has been conducted across temporal scales. This study investigates changes in vegetation cover across multiple temporal scales in Eastern Cape, South Africa and how this affects erosion and sediment yield modelling in the Tsitsa River catchment. Earth observation analysis and sediment yield modelling are integrated within this study. Landsat 8 imagery was processed, and Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) values were extracted and applied to parameterise the Modified Universal Soil Loss Equation (MUSLE) vegetation (C) factor. Imagery data from 2013–2018 were analysed for an inter-annual trend based on reference summer (March) images, while monthly imagery for the years 2016–2017 was analysed for intra-annual trends. The results indicate that the C exhibits more variation across the monthly timescale than the yearly timescale. Therefore, using a single month to represent the annual C factor increases uncertainty. The modelling shows that accounting for temporal variations in vegetation cover reduces cumulative simulated sediment by up to 85% across the inter-annual and 30% for the intra-annual scale. Validation with observed data confirmed that accounting for temporal variations brought cumulative sediment outputs closer to observations. Over-simulations are high in late autumn and early summer, when estimated C values are high. Accordingly, uncertainties are high in winter when low NDVI leads to high C, whereas dry organic matter provides some protection from erosion. The results of this study highlight the need to account for temporal variations in vegetation cover in sediment yield estimation but indicate the uncertainties associated with using NDVI to estimate C factor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modelling of Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion and Sediment Transport)
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Article
Multi-Step Calibration Approach for SWAT Model Using Soil Moisture and Crop Yields in a Small Agricultural Catchment
Water 2021, 13(16), 2238; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13162238 - 17 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1112
Abstract
The quantitative prediction of hydrological components through hydrological models could serve as a basis for developing better land and water management policies. This study provides a comprehensive step by step modelling approach for a small agricultural watershed using the SWAT model. The watershed [...] Read more.
The quantitative prediction of hydrological components through hydrological models could serve as a basis for developing better land and water management policies. This study provides a comprehensive step by step modelling approach for a small agricultural watershed using the SWAT model. The watershed is situated in Petzenkirchen in the western part of Lower Austria and has total area of 66 hectares. At present, 87% of the catchment area is arable land, 5% is used as pasture, 6% is forested and 2% is paved. The calibration approach involves a sequential calibration of the model starting from surface runoff, and groundwater flow, followed by crop yields and then soil moisture, and finally total streamflow and sediment yields. Calibration and validation are carried out using the r-package SWATplusR. The impact of each calibration step on sediment yields and total streamflow is evaluated. The results of this approach are compared with those of the conventional model calibration approach, where all the parameters governing various hydrological processes are calibrated simultaneously. Results showed that the model was capable of successfully predicting surface runoff, groundwater flow, soil profile water content, total streamflow and sediment yields with Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) of greater than 0.75. Crop yields were also well simulated with a percent bias (PBIAS) ranging from −17% to 14%. Surface runoff calibration had the highest impact on streamflow output, improving NSE from 0.39 to 0.77. The step-wise calibration approach performed better for streamflow prediction than the simultaneous calibration approach. The results of this study show that the step-wise calibration approach is more accurate, and provides a better representation of different hydrological components and processes than the simultaneous calibration approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modelling of Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion and Sediment Transport)
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Article
Erosion Transportation Processes as Influenced by Gully Land Consolidation Projects in Highly Managed Small Watersheds in the Loess Hilly–Gully Region, China
Water 2021, 13(11), 1540; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13111540 - 30 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1026
Abstract
The Loess Hilly–Gully region (LHGR) is the most serious soil erosion area in the world. For the small watershed with high management in this area, the scientific problem that has been paid attention to in recent years is the impact of the land [...] Read more.
The Loess Hilly–Gully region (LHGR) is the most serious soil erosion area in the world. For the small watershed with high management in this area, the scientific problem that has been paid attention to in recent years is the impact of the land consolidation project on the erosion environment in the gully region. In this study, the 3D simulation method of vegetation, eroded sediment and pollutant transport was innovated based on the principles of erosion sediment dynamics and similarity theory, and the impacts of GLCP were analyzed on the erosion environment at different scales. The verification results show that the design method and the scale conversion relationship (geometric scale: λl = 100) were reasonable and could simulate the transport process on the complex underlying surface of a small watershed. Compared with untreated watersheds, a significant change was the current flood peak lagging behind the sediment peak. There were two important critical values of GLCP impact on the erosion environment. The erosion transport in HMSW had no change when the proportion was less than 0.85%, and increased obviously when it was greater than 3.3%. The above results have important theoretical and practical significance for watershed simulation and land-use management in HMSW. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modelling of Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion and Sediment Transport)
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