Innovative techniques for data acquisition in soil erosion studies in catchments

Encarnación V. Taguas
University of Cordoba, Spain

Notes on session SSS2.9 (EGU2013)

During the EGU2013 session SSS2.9, Tuesday 9 April 8.30 a.m., new methodologies and modeling techniques were presented by a number of brilliant speakers, playing with the magic numbers of soil erosion. Jose A. Gomez and Manuel Seeger chaired the proceedings.

In the first block about innovative methodologies, Joao de Lima warmed up the atmosphere (and the soil) with the presentation of a thermographic technique for 3D microrelief analyses in the lab. Sabine Kraushaar used different measurement methods that combined the evaluation of olive mounds, Roman cisterns and erosion pins to describe long-term erosion processes in a semi-arid catchment. Rates of potential erosion in olive groves of about 95 t/ha/year versus 34 on vegetated slopes were measured, while the sediment yield was about 1.2 t/ha/year. Miriam Carpintero explained the seasonal and spatial patterns of turbidity in the river Guadalquivir (Spain), determined by the coincidence of intense rainfall events during the autumn-winter months and the substantial contribution from the upper areas in the catchment. Philip Marzahn proposed an approach based on microwave remote sensing acquisitions to investigate soil surface roughness dynamics in several agricultural fields. Photogrammetry measurements allowed the validation of this technique by the adjustment of linear model.

In the modeling block, Samanta Pelacani interpreted the sediment dynamic in a disturbed anthropogenic catchment in Italy by the combination of the USLE model, samples of suspended sediment and turbidity analyses.   Gema Guzmán demonstrated the usefulness of iron oxides as inexpensive sediment tracers. In addition, their experimental application on a bed system with cotton planted in furrows with sprinkles, allowed them to calibrate the KINEROS2 model to reproduce the sediment spatial distribution. Finally, Felix Stump closed the session with a procedure to map soil properties in erosion studies by means of statistical analyses of topographical features. The original sample design based on Conditioned Latin Hypercube Sampling was completed, optimizing the sample size, while the incorporation of legacy data of previous field campaigns, allowed him to establish more accessible sample sites.

In the poster session, Thomas Bauer, Alexander Remke, Florian Kliubenshadl and Carlos Castillo demonstrated the great potential of innovative techniques in image analyses to determine residues and vegetation cover, sediment losses from rills and gully volumes, respectively. Magnetic susceptibility was also used to evaluate soil loss in agricultural land by Ales Kapiska. Moreover, Cristina Aguilar and Inés Sanz suggested different methodologies for the zonal assessment of different erosive processes in heterogeneous areas such as a large catchment with pluvio-nival regime and a burn catchment.

As for monitoring and modeling results of water balance and sediment losses, Ingrid Zehetbauaer‘s work about land degradation in the Ethiopian Highlands was particularly interesting; as was the presentation by Francesca Opsi on the upsides of the conservation tillage and the use of cover in long term experiments on vineyards, that of Patricio Cid on  maize-cotton-wheat rotation in a catchment, and the evaluation of runoff prediction of AnnAGNPS model in a large olive orchard catchment by Giuseppe Bombino.

Joy Division, oops, Soil Division

After this exhausting day, we enjoyed a nice Austrian beer or two and continued the discussion the following day. In fact, the discussion is still going on! Thank you for your contribution, and we hope to see you next year to win the first prize of flyer competition and ensoil, oops, I mean enjoy!

Here, some pictures from the Soil Erosion Dinner:

Francesca Opsi, Feliciana Licciardello, Carlos Castillo and Johannes Ries.
Manuel Seeger, Gema Guzmán, Karl Vanderlinden and José A. Gómez.
Gonzalo Martínez, Miriam Carpintero y Cristina Aguilar.

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