Snow deposits: A soil disturbance in urban areas


Snow stores a great amount of sediments during the winter. After this season snow melt transports a large amount of sediments to floodplains and water bodies. This natural process depends of the land-use, and is accelerated in urban areas, due soil sealing, which facilitates runoff and sediment transport. Here, sediments very often contain a high amount of sodium, due the salt spreading in the roads to break the ice. These sediments with high levels of sodium can induce an additional disturbance in the place where they are deposited. When leached into the soil, they will contribute to soil clay dispersion, sediment production and the increase of erosion potential. In urban areas as Vilnius, Lithuania (Figure 1), the sediment produced after the snow melt is a problem for the municipality and a cause of soil degradation in urban areas.

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Figure 1. Snow Deposits in urban parks.

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