SSS – Soil System Sciences

EGU22-3542 | Presentations | MAL24 | SSS Division Outstanding ECS Award Lecture

Forest soils under threat too. 

Diana Vieira

Forest soils are undeniably recognized to help deliver essential ecosystem services. Nevertheless this provision is facing serious threats at a moment we need forests the most. The increasing frequency of fire-prone weather conditions in the EU such as the ones causing exceptional wildfire scars in 2017 (San-Miguel-Ayanz et al., 2018), combined with extreme climate demands (IPCC, 2021) and an escalation of forest mechanisation driven by a systematic increase in the use of forest products (EUROSTAT, 2021), have been putting  EU forest soils to a new level of pressure. As a result, key ecosystem services such as clean water provision and flood control, habitats for life and biodiversity,  biomass provision and carbon sinks, are at stake.

On the other hand, several positive policy initiatives have been initiated under the umbrella of the European Green deal, such as the EU Forest and Biodiversity strategies for 2030. These aim for more healthy, diverse and resilient EU forests, ensuring we can count on their contribution for the most recent climate and biodiversity ambitions. Such initiatives combined with the new EU Soil Strategy should underpin a new era of ecosystems resilience and halt the latest land degradation trends. But the question remains: what is the current state of the EU forest soils after so many years of coexistence with the Europeans?

This presentations aims to provide an overall perspective on current threats affecting forest soils. Issues such as recurrent wildfires, inappropriate land management, land use and land cover changes are all sides of the same coin. Not surprisingly these will lead to land degradation, triggered most frequently by soil erosion. In addition, this paper will identify several misconceptions driven by remote sensing based assessments, such as the identification of good soil conditions under vigorous leaf area indexes, or the consideration of good soil management practices in all forest terraces.

With this argumentation the author hopes to trigger a healthy discussion on the idea that our EU forest soils are not in their best shape, and they too need to be cared for and managed. 

How to cite: Vieira, D.: Forest soils under threat too., EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-3542,, 2022.

EGU22-13569 | Presentations | MAL24 | Philippe Duchaufour Medal Lecture

Belowground allocation and dynamics of recently fixed plant carbon in a California annual grassland 

Mary Firestone, Christina Fossum, Katerina Estera-Molina, Mengting Yuan, Don Herman, Ilexis Chu-Jacoby, Peter Nico, Keith Morrison, and Jennifer Pett-Ridge

Plant roots and the organisms that surround them are a primary source for stabilized soil organic carbon (SOC). While grassland soils have a large capacity to store organic carbon (C), few field-based studies have quantified the amount of plant-fixed C that moves into soil and persists belowground over multiple years. Yet this characteristic of the soil C cycle is critical to C storage, soil water holding capacity and nutrient provisions, and the management of soil health. We tracked the fate of plant-fixed C following a five-day 13CO2labeling of a Northern California annual grassland, measuring C pools starting at the end of the labeling period, at three days, four weeks, six months, one year, and two years. Soil organic carbon was fractionated using a density-based approach to separate the free-light fraction (FLF), occluded-light fraction (OLF), and heavy fraction (HF). Using isotope ratio mass spectrometry, we measured 13C enrichment and total C content for plant shoots, roots, soil, soil dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and the FLF, OLF, and HF. The chemical nature of C in the HF was further analyzed by solid state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.
At the end of the labeling period, a substantial portion of the
13C (40%) was already found belowground in roots, soil, and soil DOC. By 4 weeks, the highest isotope enrichment and 27% of the total amount of 13C remaining in the system was associated with the mineral-rich HF. At the 6-month sampling—after the dry summer period during which plants senesced and died—the amount of label in the FLF increased to an amount similar to that in the HF. The FLF 13C then declined substantially by 1 year and further decreased in the 2ndyear. By the end of the 2-year experiment, 67% of remaining label was in the HF, with 19% in the FLF and 14% in the OLF.
While the
13C content in the HF was stable over the final year, the chemical forms associated with the HF evolved with time. The relative proportion of aliphatic/alkyl C functional groups declined in the newly formed SOC over the 2-years in the field; simultaneously, aromatic and carbonyl/carboxylic C functional groups increased and the proportion of carbohydrate (O-alkyl C) groups remained relatively constant.
Our results indicate that plant-fixed C moved into soil within days of its fixation and was associated with the soil mineral fraction within weeks. While most of the annual plant C input in these grasslands cycles rapidly (<2-year timescale), a sizeable proportion (about 23% of the
13C present at day 0) persisted in the soil for longer than 2 years. While decadal studies would allow improved assessment of the long-term stabilization of newly fixed plant C, our 2-year field study reveals surprisingly rapid movement of plant C into the HF of soil, followed by subsequent evolution of the chemical forms of organic C in the HF.

How to cite: Firestone, M., Fossum, C., Estera-Molina, K., Yuan, M., Herman, D., Chu-Jacoby, I., Nico, P., Morrison, K., and Pett-Ridge, J.: Belowground allocation and dynamics of recently fixed plant carbon in a California annual grassland, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-13569,, 2022.

SSS1 – History, Education and Society of Soil Science

EGU22-2024 | Presentations | ITS3.1/SSS1.2 | Highlight

Understanding natural hazards in a changing landscape: A citizen science approach in Kigezi highlands, southwestern Uganda 

Violet Kanyiginya, Ronald Twongyirwe, Grace Kagoro, David Mubiru, Matthieu Kervyn, and Olivier Dewitte

The Kigezi highlands, southwestern Uganda, is a mountainous tropical region with a high population density, intense rainfall, alternating wet and dry seasons and high weathering rates. As a result, the region is regularly affected by multiple natural hazards such as landslides, floods, heavy storms, and earthquakes. In addition, deforestation and land use changes are assumed to have an influence on the patterns of natural hazards and their impacts in the region. Landscape characteristics and dynamics controlling the occurrence and the spatio-temporal distribution of natural hazards in the region remain poorly understood. In this study, citizen science has been employed to document and understand the spatial and temporal occurrence of natural hazards that affect the Kigezi highlands in relation to the multi-decadal landscape change of the region. We present the methodological research framework involving three categories of participatory citizen scientists. First, a network of 15 geo-observers (i.e., citizens of local communities distributed across representative landscapes of the study area) was established in December 2019. The geo-observers were trained at using smartphones to collect information (processes and impacts) on eight different natural hazards occurring across their parishes. In a second phase, eight river watchers were selected at watershed level to monitor the stream flow characteristics. These watchers record stream water levels once daily and make flood observations. In both categories, validation and quality checks are done on the collected data for further analysis. Combining with high resolution rainfall monitoring using rain gauges installed in the watersheds, the data are expected to characterize catchment response to flash floods. Lastly, to reconstruct the historical landscape change and natural hazards occurrences in the region, 96 elderly citizens (>70 years of age) were engaged through interviews and focus group discussions to give an account of the evolution of their landscape over the past 60 years. We constructed a historical timeline for the region to complement the participatory mapping and in-depth interviews with the elderly citizens. During the first 24 months of the project, 240 natural hazard events with accurate timing information have been reported by the geo-observers. Conversion from natural tree species to exotic species, increased cultivation of hillslopes, road construction and abandonment of terraces and fallowing practices have accelerated natural hazards especially flash floods and landslides in the region. Complementing with the region’s historical photos of 1954 and satellite images, major landscape dynamics have been detected. The ongoing data collection involving detailed ground-based observations with citizens shows a promising trend in the generation of new knowledge about natural hazards in the region.

How to cite: Kanyiginya, V., Twongyirwe, R., Kagoro, G., Mubiru, D., Kervyn, M., and Dewitte, O.: Understanding natural hazards in a changing landscape: A citizen science approach in Kigezi highlands, southwestern Uganda, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2024,, 2022.

EGU22-2929 | Presentations | ITS3.1/SSS1.2

Possible Contributions of Citizen Science in the Development of the Next Generation of City Climate Services 

Peter Dietrich, Uta Ködel, Sophia Schütze, Felix Schmidt, Fabian Schütze, Aletta Bonn, Thora Herrmann, and Claudia Schütze

Human life in cities is already affected by climate change. The effects will become even more pronounced in the coming years and decades. Next-generation of city climate services is necessary for adapting infrastructures and the management of services of cities to climate change. These services are based on advanced weather forecast models and the access to diverse data. It is essential to keep in mind that each citizen is a unique individual with their own peculiarities, preferences, and behaviors. The base for our approach is the individual specific exposure, which considers that people perceive the same conditions differently in terms of their well-being. Individual specific exposure can be defined as the sum of all environmental conditions that affect humans during a given period of time, in a specific location, and in a specific context. Thereby, measurable abiotic parameters such as temperature, humidity, wind speed, pollution and noise are used to characterize the environmental conditions. Additional information regarding green spaces, trees, parks, kinds of streets and buildings, as well as available infrastructures are included in the context. The recording and forecasting of environmental parameters while taking into account the context, as well as the presentation of this information in easy-to-understand and easy-to-use maps, are critical for influencing human behavior and implementing appropriate climate change adaptation measures.

We will adopt this approach within the frame of the recently started, EU-funded CityCLIM project. We aim to develop and implement approaches which will explore the potential of citizen science in terms of current and historical data collecting, data quality assessment and evaluation of data products.  In addition, our approach will also provide strategies for individual climate data use, and the derivation and evaluation of climate change adaptation actions in cities.

In a first step we need to define and to characterize the different potential stakeholder groups involved in citizen science data collection. Citizen science offers approaches that consider citizens as both  organized target groups (e.g., engaged companies, schools) and individual persons (e.g. hobby scientists). An important point to be investigated is the motivation of citizen science stakehoder groups to sustainably collect data and make it available to science and reward them accordingly. For that purpose, strategic tools, such as value proposition canvas analysis, will be applied to taylor the science-to-business and the science-to-customer communications and offers in terms of the individual needs.

How to cite: Dietrich, P., Ködel, U., Schütze, S., Schmidt, F., Schütze, F., Bonn, A., Herrmann, T., and Schütze, C.: Possible Contributions of Citizen Science in the Development of the Next Generation of City Climate Services, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2929,, 2022.

EGU22-4168 | Presentations | ITS3.1/SSS1.2

Extending Rapid Image Classification with the Picture Pile Platform for Citizen Science 

Tobias Sturn, Linda See, Steffen Fritz, Santosh Karanam, and Ian McCallum

Picture Pile is a flexible web-based and mobile application for ingesting imagery from satellites, orthophotos, unmanned aerial vehicles and/or geotagged photographs for rapid classification by volunteers. Since 2014, there have been 16 different crowdsourcing campaigns run with Picture Pile, which has involved more than 4000 volunteers who have classified around 11.5 million images. Picture Pile is based on a simple mechanic in which users view an image and then answer a question, e.g., do you see oil palm, with a simple yes, no or maybe answer by swiping the image to the right, left or downwards, respectively. More recently, Picture Pile has been modified to classify data into categories (e.g., crop types) as well as continuous variables (e.g., degree of wealth) so that additional types of data can be collected.

The Picture Pile campaigns have covered a range of domains from classification of deforestation to building damage to different types of land cover, with crop type identification as the latest ongoing campaign through the Earth Challenge network. Hence, Picture Pile can be used for many different types of applications that need image classifications, e.g., as reference data for training remote sensing algorithms, validation of remotely sensed products or training data of computer vision algorithms. Picture Pile also has potential for monitoring some of the indicators of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Picture Pile Platform is the next generation of the Picture Pile application, which will allow any user to create their own ‘piles’ of imagery and run their own campaigns using the system. In addition to providing an overview of Picture Pile, including some examples of relevance to SDG monitoring, this presentation will provide an overview of the current status of the Picture Pile Platform along with the data sharing model, the machine learning component and the vision for how the platform will function operationally to aid environmental monitoring.

How to cite: Sturn, T., See, L., Fritz, S., Karanam, S., and McCallum, I.: Extending Rapid Image Classification with the Picture Pile Platform for Citizen Science, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4168,, 2022.

EGU22-5094 | Presentations | ITS3.1/SSS1.2

Life in undies – Preliminary results of a citizen science data collection targeting soil health assessement in Hungary 

Mátyás Árvai, Péter László, Tünde Takáts, Zsófia Adrienn Kovács, Kata Takács, János Mészaros, and László Pásztor

Last year, the Institute for Soil Sciences, Centre for Agricultural Research launched Hungary's first citizen science project with the aim to obtain information on the biological activity of soils using a simple estimation procedure. With the help of social media, the reactions on the call for applications were received from nearly 2000 locations. 

In the Hungarian version of the international Soil your Undies programme, standardized cotton underwear was posted to the participants with a step-by-step tutorial, who buried their underwear for about 60 days, from mid of May until July in 2021, at a depth of about 20-25 cm. After the excavation, the participants took one digital image of the underwear and recorded the geographical coordinates, which were  uploaded to a GoogleForms interface together with several basic information related to the location and the user (type of cultivation, demographic data etc.).

By analysing digital photos of the excavated undies made by volunteers, we obtained information on the level to which cotton material had decomposed in certain areas and under different types of cultivation. Around 40% of the participants buried the underwear in garden, 21% in grassland, 15% in orchard, 12% in arable land, 5% in vineyard and 4% in forest (for 3% no landuse data was provided).

The images were first processed using Fococlipping and Photoroom softwares for background removing and then percentage of cotton material remaining was estimated based on the pixels by using R Studio ‘raster package’.

The countrywide collected biological activity data from nearly 1200 sites were statistically evaluated by spatially aggregating the data both for physiographical and administrative units. The results have been published on various platforms (Facebook, Instagram, specific web site etc.), and a feedback is also given directly to the volunteers.

According to the experiments the first citizen science programme proved to be successful. 


Acknowledgment: Our research was supported by the Hungarian National Research, Development and Innovation Office (NKFIH; K-131820)

Keywords: citizen science; soil life; soil health; biological activity; soil properties

How to cite: Árvai, M., László, P., Takáts, T., Kovács, Z. A., Takács, K., Mészaros, J., and Pásztor, L.: Life in undies – Preliminary results of a citizen science data collection targeting soil health assessement in Hungary, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5094,, 2022.

EGU22-5147 | Presentations | ITS3.1/SSS1.2

Distributed databases for citizen science 

Julien Malard-Adam, Joel Harms, and Wietske Medema

Citizen science is often heavily dependent on software tools that allow members of the general population to collect, view and submit environmental data to a common database. While several such software platforms exist, these often require expert knowledge to set up and maintain, and server and data hosting costs can become quite costly in the long term, especially if a project is successful in attracting many users and data submissions. In the context of time-limited project funding, these limitations can pose serious obstacles to the long-term sustainability of citizen science projects as well as their ownership by the community.

One the other hand, distributed database systems (such as Qri and Constellation) dispense with the need for a centralised server and instead rely on the devices (smartphone or computer) of the users themselves to store and transmit community-generated data. This new approach leads to the counterintuitive result that distributed systems, contrarily to centralised ones, become more robust and offer better availability and response times as the size of the user pool grows. In addition, since data is stored by users’ own devices, distributed systems offer interesting potential for strengthening communities’ ownership over their own environmental data (data sovereignty). This presentation will discuss the potential of distributed database systems to address the current technological limitations of centralised systems for open data and citizen science-led data collection efforts and will give examples of use cases with currently available distributed database software platforms.

How to cite: Malard-Adam, J., Harms, J., and Medema, W.: Distributed databases for citizen science, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5147,, 2022.

EGU22-5571 | Presentations | ITS3.1/SSS1.2

RESECAN: citizen-driven seismology on an active volcano (Cumbre Vieja, La Palma Island, Canaries) 

Rubén García-Hernández, José Barrancos, Luca D'Auria, Vidal Domínguez, Arturo Montalvo, and Nemesio Pérez

During the last decades, countless seismic sensors have been deployed throughout the planet by different countries and institutions. In recent years, it has been possible to manufacture low-cost MEMS accelerometers thanks to nanotechnology and large-scale development. These devices can be easily configured and accurately synchronized by GPS. Customizable microcontrollers like Arduino or RaspBerryPI can be used to develop low-cost seismic stations capable of local data storage and real-time data transfer. Such stations have a sufficient signal quality to be used for complementing conventional seismic networks.

In recent years Instituto Volcanológico de Canarias (INVOLCAN) has developed a proprietary low-cost seismic station to implement the Canary Islands School Seismic Network (Red Sísmica Escolar Canaria - RESECAN) with multiple objectives:

  • supporting the teaching of geosciences.
  • promoting the scientific vocation.
  • strengthening the resilience of the local communities by improving awareness toward volcanism and the associated hazards.
  • Densifying the existing seismic networks.

On Sept. 19th 2021, a volcanic eruption started on the Cumbre Vieja volcano in La Palma. The eruption was proceeded and accompanied by thousands of earthquakes, many of them felt with intensities up to V MCS. Exploiting the attention drawn by the eruption, INVOLCAN started the deployment of low-cost seismic stations in La Palma in educational centres. In this preliminary phase, we selected five educational centres on the island.

The project's objective is to create and distribute low-cost stations in various educational institutions in La Palma and later on the whole Canary Islands Archipelago, supplementing them with educational material on the topics of seismology and volcanology. Each school will be able to access the data of its station, as well as those collected by other centres, being able to locate some of the recorded earthquakes. The data recorded by RESECAN will also be integrated into the broadband seismic network operated by INVOLCAN (Red Sísmica Canaria, C7). RESECAN will be an instrument of scientific utility capable of contributing effectively to the volcano monitoring of the Canary Islands, reinforcing its resilience with respect to future volcanic emergencies.

How to cite: García-Hernández, R., Barrancos, J., D'Auria, L., Domínguez, V., Montalvo, A., and Pérez, N.: RESECAN: citizen-driven seismology on an active volcano (Cumbre Vieja, La Palma Island, Canaries), EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5571,, 2022.

EGU22-6970 | Presentations | ITS3.1/SSS1.2

Analysis of individual learning outcomes of students and teachers in the citizen science project TeaTime4Schools 

Anna Wawra, Martin Scheuch, Bernhard Stürmer, and Taru Sanden

Only a few of the increasing number of citizen science projects set out to determine the projects impact on diverse learning outcomes of citizen scientists. However, besides pure completion of project activities and data collection, measurable benefits as individual learning outcomes (ILOs) (Phillips et al. 2014) should reward voluntary work.

Within the citizen science project „TeaTime4Schools“, Austrian students in the range of 13 to 18 years collected data as a group activity in a teacher guided school context; tea bags were buried into soil to investigate litter decomposition. In an online questionnaire a set of selected scales of ILOs (Phillips et al. 2014, Keleman-Finan et al. 2018, Wilde et al. 2009) were applied to test those ILOs of students who participated in TeaTime4Schools. Several indicators (scales for project-related response, interest in science, interest in soil, environmental activism, and self-efficacy) were specifically tailored from these evaluation frameworks to measure four main learning outcomes: interest, motivation, behavior, self-efficacy. In total, 106 valid replies of students were analyzed. In addition, 21 teachers who participated in TeaTime4Schools, answered a separate online questionnaire that directly asked about quality and liking of methods used in the project based on suggested scales about learning tasks of University College for Agricultural and Environmental Education (2015), which were modified for the purpose of this study. Findings of our research will be presented.

How to cite: Wawra, A., Scheuch, M., Stürmer, B., and Sanden, T.: Analysis of individual learning outcomes of students and teachers in the citizen science project TeaTime4Schools, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6970,, 2022.

EGU22-7164 | Presentations | ITS3.1/SSS1.2

Seismic and air monitoring observatory for greater Beirut : a citizen observatory of the "urban health" of Beirut 

Cecile Cornou, Laurent Drapeau, Youssef El Bakouny, Samer Lahoud, Alain Polikovitch, Chadi Abdallah, Charbel Abou Chakra, Charbel Afif, Ahmad Al Bitar, Stephane Cartier, Pascal Fanice, Johnny Fenianos, Bertrand Guillier, Carla Khater, and Gabriel Khoury and the SMOAG Team

Already sensitive because of its geology (seismic-tsunamic risk) and its interface between arid and temperate ecosystems, the Mediterranean Basin is being transformed by climate change and major urban pressure on resources and spaces. Lebanon concentrates on a small territory the environmental, climatic, health, social and political crises of the Middle East: shortages and degradation of surface and groundwater quality, air pollution, landscape fragmentation, destruction of ecosystems, erosion of biodiversity, telluric risks and very few mechanisms of information, prevention and protection against these vulnerabilities. Further, Lebanon is sorely lacking in environmental data at sufficient temporal and spatial scales to cover the range of key phenomena and to allow the integration of environmental issues for the country's development. This absence was sadly illustrated during the August 4th, 2020, explosion at the port of Beirut, which hindered the effective management of induced threats to protect the inhabitants. In this degraded context combined with a systemic crisis situation in Lebanon, frugal  innovation is more than an option, it is a necessity. Initiated in 2021 within the framework of the O-LIFE lebanese-french research consortium (, the « Seismic and air monitoring observatory  for greater Beirut » (SMOAG) project aims at setting up a citizen observatory of the urban health of Beirut by deploying innovative, connected, low-cost, energy-efficient and robust environmental and seismological instruments. Through co-constructed web services and mobile applications with various stakeholders (citizens, NGOs, decision makers and scientists), the SMOAG citizen observatory will contribute to the information and mobilization of Lebanese citizens and managers by sharing the monitoring of key indicators associated with air quality, heat islands and building stability, essential issues for a sustainable Beirut.

The first phase of the project was dedicated to the development of a low-cost environmental sensor enabling pollution and urban weather measurements (particle matters, SO2, CO, O3, N02, solar radiation, wind speed, temperature, humidity, rainfall) and to the development of all the software infrastructure, from data acquisition to the synoptic indicators accessible via web and mobile application, while following the standards of the Sensor Web Enablement and Sensor Observation System of the OGC and to the FAIR principles (Easy to find, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable). A website and Android/IOS applications for the restitution of data and indicators and a dashboard allowing real time access to data have been developed. Environmental and low-cost seismological stations (Raspberry Shake) have been already deployed in Beirut, most of them hosted by Lebanese citizens. These instrumental and open data access efforts were completed by participatory workshops with various stakeholders  to improve the ergonomy of the web and application interfaces and to define roadmap for the implantation of future stations, consistently with  most vulnerable populations identified by NGOs and the current knowledge on the air pollution and heat islands in Beirut.

How to cite: Cornou, C., Drapeau, L., El Bakouny, Y., Lahoud, S., Polikovitch, A., Abdallah, C., Abou Chakra, C., Afif, C., Al Bitar, A., Cartier, S., Fanice, P., Fenianos, J., Guillier, B., Khater, C., and Khoury, G. and the SMOAG Team: Seismic and air monitoring observatory for greater Beirut : a citizen observatory of the "urban health" of Beirut, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7164,, 2022.

EGU22-7323 | Presentations | ITS3.1/SSS1.2

Citizen science for better water quality management in the Brantas catchment, Indonesia? Preliminary results 

Reza Pramana, Schuyler Houser, Daru Rini, and Maurits Ertsen

Water quality in the rivers and tributaries of the Brantas catchment (about 12.000 km2) is deteriorating due to various reasons, including rapid economic development, insufficient domestic water treatment and waste management, and industrial pollution. Various water quality parameters are at least measured on monthly basis by agencies involved in water resource development and management. However, measurements consistently demonstrate exceedance of the local water quality standards. Recent claims presented by the local Environmental Protection Agency indicate that the water quality is much more affected by the domestic sources compared to the others. In an attempt to examine this, we proposed a citizen science campaign by involving people from seven communities living close to the river, a network organisation that works on water quality monitoring, three government agencies, and students from a local university. Beginning in 2022, we kicked off our campaign by measuring with test strips for nitrate, nitrite, and phosphate on weekly basis at twelve different locations from upstream to downstream of the catchment. In the effort to provide education on water stewardship and empower citizens to participate in water quality management, preliminary results – the test strips, strategies, and challenges - will be shown.

How to cite: Pramana, R., Houser, S., Rini, D., and Ertsen, M.: Citizen science for better water quality management in the Brantas catchment, Indonesia? Preliminary results, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7323,, 2022.

EGU22-7916 | Presentations | ITS3.1/SSS1.2

Citizen science - an invaluable tool for obtaining high-resolution spatial and temporal meteorological data 

Jadranka Sepic, Jure Vranic, Ivica Aviani, Drago Milanovic, and Miro Burazer

Available quality-checked institutional meteorological data is often not measured at locations of particular interest for observing specific small-scale and meso-scale atmospheric processes. Similarly, institutional data can be hard to obtain due to data policy restrictions. On the other hand, a lot of people are highly interested in meteorology, and they frequently deploy meteorological instruments at locations where they live. Such citizen data are often shared through public data repositories and websites with sophisticated visualization routines.  As a result, the networks of citizen meteorological stations are, in numerous areas, denser and more easily accessible than are the institutional meteorological networks.  

Several examples of publicly available citizen meteorological networks, including school networks, are explored – and their application to published high-quality scientific papers is discussed. It is shown that for the data-based analysis of specific atmospheric processes of interest, such as mesoscale convective disturbances and mesoscale atmospheric gravity waves, the best qualitative and quantitative results are often obtained using densely populated citizen networks.  

Finally, a “cheap and easy to do” project of constructing a meteorological station with a variable number of atmospheric sensors is presented. Suggestions on how to use such stations in educational and citizen science activities, and even in real-time warning systems, are given.  

How to cite: Sepic, J., Vranic, J., Aviani, I., Milanovic, D., and Burazer, M.: Citizen science - an invaluable tool for obtaining high-resolution spatial and temporal meteorological data, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7916,, 2022.

Among the greatest constraints to accurately monitoring and understanding climate and climate change in many locations is limited in situ observing capacity and resolution in these places. Climate behaviours along with dependent environmental and societal processes are frequently highly localized, while observing systems in the region may be separated by hundreds of kilometers and may not adequately represent conditions between them. Similarly, generating climate equity in urban regions can be hindered by an inability to resolve urban heat islands at neighborhood scales. In both cases, higher density observations are necessary for accurate condition monitoring, research, and for the calibration and validation of remote sensing products and predictive models. Coincidentally, urban neighborhoods are heavily populated and thousands of individuals visit remote locations each day for recreational purposes. Many of these individuals are concerned about climate change and are keen to contribute to climate solutions. However, there are several challenges to creating a voluntary citizen science climate observing program that addresses these opportunities. The first is that such a program has the potential for limited uptake if participants are required to volunteer their time or incur a significant cost to participate. The second is that researchers and decision-makers may be reluctant to use the collected data owing to concern over observer bias. This paper describes the on-going development and implementation by of a technology-driven citizen science approach in which participants are equipped with low-cost automated sensors that systematically sample and communicate scientifically valid climate observations while they focus on other activities (e.g., recreation, gardening, fitness). Observations are acquired by a cloud-based system that quality controls, anonymizes, and makes them openly available. Simultaneously, individuals of all backgrounds who share a love of the outdoors become engaged in the scientific process via data-driven communication, research, and educational interactions. Because costs and training are minimized as barriers to participation, data collection is opportunistic, and the technology can be used almost anywhere, this approach is dynamically scalable with the potential for millions of participants to collect billions of new, accurate observations that integrate with and enhance existing observational network capacity.

How to cite: Shein, K.: Linking citizen scientists with technology to reduce climate data gaps, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-10634,, 2022.

The 2019-2020 bushfire season (the Black Summer) in Australia was unprecedented in its breadth and severity as well as the disrupted resources and time dedicated to studying it.  Right after one of the most extreme fire seasons on record had hit Australia, a once-in-a-century global pandemic, COVID-19, occurred. This pandemic caused world-wide lockdowns throughout 2020 and 2021 that prevented travel and field work, thus hindering researchers from assessing damage done by the Black Summer bushfires. Early assessments show that the bushfires on Kangaroo Island, South Australia caused declines in soil nutrients and ground coverage up to 10 months post-fire, indicating higher risk of soil erosion and fire-induced land degradation at this location. In parallel to the direct impacts the Black Summer bushfires had on native vegetation and soil, the New South Wales Nature Conservation Council observed a noticeable increase in demand for fire management workshops in 2020. What was observed of fires and post-fire outcomes on soil and vegetation from the 2019-2020 bushfire season that drove so many citizens into action? In collaboration with the New South Wales Nature Conservation Council and Rural Fire Service through the Hotspots Fire Project, we will be surveying and interviewing landowners across New South Wales to collect their observations and insights regarding the Black Summer. By engaging landowners, this project aims to answer the following: within New South Wales, Australia, what impact did the 2019-2020 fire season have on a) soil health and native vegetation and b) human behaviours and perceptions of fire in the Australian landscape. The quantity of insights gained from NSW citizens will provide a broad assessment of fire impacts across multiple soil and ecosystem types, providing knowledge of the impacts of severe fires, such as those that occurred during the Black Summer, to the scientific community. Furthermore, with knowledge gained from reflections from citizens, the Hotspots Fire Project will be better able to train and support workshop participants, while expanding the coverage of workshops to improve support of landowners across the state. Data regarding fire impacts on soil, ecosystems, and communities has been collected by unknowing citizen scientists all across New South Wales, and to gain access to that data, we need only ask.

How to cite: Ondik, M., Ooi, M., and Muñoz-Rojas, M.: Insights from landowners on Australia's Black Summer bushfires: impacts on soil and vegetation, perceptions, and behaviours, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-10776,, 2022.

High air pollution concentration levels and increased urban heat island intensity, are amongst the most critical contemporary urban health concerns. This is the reason why various municipalities are starting to invest in extensive direct air quality and microclimate sensing networks. Through the study of these datasets it has become evident that the understanding of inter-urban environmental gradients is imperative to effectively introduce urban land-use strategies to improve the environmental conditions in the neighborhoods that suffer the most, and develop city-scale urban planning solutions for a better urban health.  However, given economic limitations or divergent political views, extensive direct sensing environmental networks have yet not been implemented in most cities. While the validity of citizen science environmental datasets is often questioned given that they rely on low-cost sensing technologies and fail to incorporate sensor calibration protocols, they can offer an alternative to municipal sensing networks if the necessary Quality Assurance / Quality Control (QA/QC) protocols are put in place.

This research has focused on the development of a QA/QC protocol for the study of urban environmental data collected by the citizen science PurpleAir initiative implemented in the Bay Area and the city of Los Angeles where over 700 purple air stations have been implemented in the last years. Following the QA/QC process the PurpleAir data was studied in combination with remote sensing datasets on land surface temperature and normalized difference vegetation index, and geospatial datasets on socio-demographic and urban fabric parameters. Through a footprint-based study, and for all PurpleAir station locations, the featured variables and the buffer sizes with higher correlations have been identified to compute the inter-urban environmental gradient predictions making use of 3 supervised machine learning models: - Regression Tree Ensemble, Support Vector Machine, and a Gaussian Process Regression.

How to cite: Llaguno-Munitxa, M., Bou-Zeid, E., Rueda, P., and Shu, X.: Citizen-science urban environmental monitoring for the development of an inter-urban environmental prediction model for the city of Los Angeles, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-11765,, 2022.

EGU22-11797 | Presentations | ITS3.1/SSS1.2

Attitudes towards a cafetiere-style filter system and paper-based analysis pad for soil nutrition surveillance in-situ: evidence from Kenya and Vietnam 

Samantha Richardson, Philip Kamau, Katie J Parsons, Florence Halstead, Ibrahim Ndirangu, Vo Quang Minh, Van Pham Dang Tri, Hue Le, Nicole Pamme, and Jesse Gitaka

Routine monitoring of soil chemistry is needed for effective crop management since a poor understanding of nutrient levels affects crop yields and ultimately farmers’ livelihoods.1 In low- and middle-income countries soil sampling is usually limited, due to required access to analytical services and high costs of portable sampling equipment.2 We are developing portable and low-cost sampling and analysis tools which would enable farmers to test their own land and make informed decisions around the need for fertilizers. In this study we aimed to understand attitudes of key stakeholders towards this technology and towards collecting the data gathered on public databases which could inform decisions at government level to better manage agriculture across a country.


In Kenya, we surveyed 549 stakeholders from Murang’a and Kiambu counties, 77% men and 23% women. 17.2% of these respondent smallholder farmers were youthful farmers aged 18-35 years with 81.9% male and 18.1% female-headed farming enterprises. The survey covered current knowledge of soil nutrition, existing soil management practices, desire to sample soil in the future, attitudes towards our developed prototypes, motivation towards democratization of soil data, and willingness to pay for the technology. In Vietnam a smaller mixed methods online survey was distributed via national farming unions to 27 stakeholders, in particular engaging younger farmers with an interest in technology and innovation.

Within the Kenya cohort, only 1.5% of farmers currently test for nutrients and pH. Reasons given for not testing included a lack of knowledge about soil testing (35%), distance to testing centers (34%) and high costs (16%). However, 97% of respondents were interested in soil sampling at least once a year, particularly monitoring nitrates and phosphates. Nearly all participants, 94-99% among the males/females/youths found cost of repeated analysis of soil samples costing around USD 11-12 as affordable for their business. Regarding sharing the collecting data, 88% believed this would be beneficial, for example citing that data shared with intervention agencies and agricultural officers could help them receive relevant advice.

In Vietnam, 87% of famers did not have their soil nutrient levels tested with 62% saying they did not know how and 28% indicating prohibitive costs. Most currently relied on local knowledge and observations to improve their soil quality. 87% thought that the system we were proposing was affordable with only 6% saying they would not be interested in trialing this new technology. Regarding the soil data, respondents felt that it should be open access and available to everyone.

Our surveys confirmed the need and perceived benefit for our proposed simple-to-operate and cost-effective workflow, which would enable farmers to test soil chemistry themselves on their own land. Farmers were also found to be motivated towards sharing their soil data to get advice from government agencies. The survey results will inform our further development of low-cost, portable analytical tools for simple on-site measurements of nutrient levels within soil.


1. Dimkpa, C., et al., Sustainable Agriculture Reviews, 2017, 25, 1-43.

2. Zingore, S., et al., Better Crops, 2015, 99 (1), 24-26.

How to cite: Richardson, S., Kamau, P., Parsons, K. J., Halstead, F., Ndirangu, I., Minh, V. Q., Tri, V. P. D., Le, H., Pamme, N., and Gitaka, J.: Attitudes towards a cafetiere-style filter system and paper-based analysis pad for soil nutrition surveillance in-situ: evidence from Kenya and Vietnam, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-11797,, 2022.

Keywords: preconcentration, heavy metal, cafetiere, citizen science, paper-based microfluidics

Heavy-metal analysis of water samples using microfluidics paper-based analytical devices (µPAD) with colourimetric readout is of great interest due to its simplicity, affordability and potential for Citizen Science-based data collection [1]. However, this approach is limited by the relatively poor sensitivity of the colourimetric substrates, typically achieving detection within the mg L-1 range, whereas heavy-metals exist in the environment at <μg L-1 quantities   [2]. Preconcentration is commonly used when analyte concentration is below the analytical range, but this typically requires laboratory equipment and expert users [3]. Here, we are developing a simple method for pre-concentration of heavy metals, to be integrated with a µPAD workflow that would allow Citizen Scientists to carry out pre-concentration as well as readout on-site.

The filter mesh from an off-the-shelf cafetière (350 mL) was replaced with a custom-made bead carrier basket, laser cut in PMMA sheet featuring >500 evenly spread 100 µm diameter holes. This allowed the water sample to pass through the basket and mix efficiently with the 2.6 g ion-exchange resin beads housed within (Lewatit® TP207, Ambersep® M4195, Lewatit® MonoPlus SP 112). An aqueous Ni2+ sample (0.3 mg L-1, 300 mL) was placed in the cafetiere and the basket containing ion exchange material was moved up and down for 5 min to allow Ni2+ adsorption onto the resin. Initial investigations into elution with a safe, non-toxic eluent focused on using NaCl (5 M). These were carried out by placing the elution solution into a shallow dish and into which the the resin containing carrier basket was submerging. UV/vis spectroscopy via a colourimetric reaction with nioxime was used to monitor Ni2+ absorption and elution.

After 5 min of mixing it was found that Lewatit® TP207 and Ambersep® M4195 resins adsorbed up to 90% of the Ni2+ ions present in solution and the Lewatit® MonoPlus SP 112 adsorbed up to 60%. However, the Lewatit® MonoPlus SP 112 resin performed better for elution with NaCl. Initial studies showed up to 30% of the Ni2+ was eluted within only 1 min of mixing with 10 mL 5 M NaCl.

Using a cafetière as pre-concentration vessel coupled with non-hazardous reagents in the pre-concentration process allows involvement of citizen scientists in more advanced environmental monitoring activities that cannot be achieved with a simple paper-based sensor alone. Future work will investigate the user-friendliness of the design by trialling the system with volunteers and will aim to further improve the trapping and elution efficiencies.



  • Almeida, M., et al., Talanta, 2018, 177, 176-190.
  • Lace, A., J. Cleary, Chemosens., 2021. 9, 60.
  • Alahmad, W., et al.. Biosens. Bioelectron., 2021. 194, 113574.


How to cite: Sari, M., Richardson, S., Mayes, W., Lorch, M., and Pamme, N.: Method development for on-site freshwater analysis with pre-concentration of nickel via ion-exchange resins embedded in a cafetière system and paper-based analytical devices for readout, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-11892,, 2022.

EGU22-12972 | Presentations | ITS3.1/SSS1.2 | Highlight

Collection of valuable polar data and increase in nature awareness among travellers by using Expedition Cruise Ships as platforms of opportunity 

Verena Meraldi, Tudor Morgan, Amanda Lynnes, and Ylva Grams

Hurtigruten Expeditions, a member of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) and the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) has been visiting the fragile polar environments for two decades, witnessing the effects of climate change. Tourism and the number of ships in the polar regions has grown significantly. As a stakeholder aware of the need for long-term protection of these regions, we promote safe and environmentally responsible operations, invest in the understanding and conservation of the areas we visit, and focus on the enrichment of our guests.

For the last couple of years, we have supported the scientific community by transporting researchers and their equipment to and from their study areas in polar regions and we have established collaborations with numerous scientific institutions. In parallel we developed our science program with the goal of educating our guests about the natural environments they are in, as well as to further support the scientific community by providing our ships as platforms of opportunity for spatial and temporal data collection. Participation in Citizen Science programs that complement our lecture program provides an additional education opportunity for guests to better understand the challenges the visited environment faces while contributing to filling scientific knowledge gaps in remote areas and providing data for evidence-based decision making.

We aim to continue working alongside the scientific community and developing partnerships. We believe that scientific research and monitoring in the Arctic and Antarctic can hugely benefit from the reoccurring presence of our vessels in these areas, as shown by the many projects we have supported so far. In addition, our partnership with the Polar Citizen Science Collective, a charity that facilitates interaction between scientists running Citizen Science projects and expedition tour operators, will allow the development of programs on an industry level, rather than just an operator level, increasing the availability and choice of platforms of opportunity for the scientific community.

How to cite: Meraldi, V., Morgan, T., Lynnes, A., and Grams, Y.: Collection of valuable polar data and increase in nature awareness among travellers by using Expedition Cruise Ships as platforms of opportunity, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12972,, 2022.

EGU22-13115 | Presentations | ITS3.1/SSS1.2

Participatory rainfall monitoring: strengthening hydrometeorological risk management and community resilience in Peru 

Miguel Arestegui, Miluska Ordoñez, Abel Cisneros, Giorgio Madueño, Cinthia Almeida, Vannia Aliaga, Nelson Quispe, Carlos Millán, Waldo Lavado, Samuel Huaman, and Jeremy Phillips

Heavy rainfall, floods and debris flow on the Rimac river watershed are recurring events that impact Peruvian people in vulnerable situations.There are few historical records, in terms of hydrometeorological variables, with sufficient temporal and spatial accuracy. As a result, Early Warning Systems (EWS) efficiency, dealing with these hazards, is critically limited.

In order to tackle this challenge, among other objectives, the Participatory Monitoring Network (Red de Monitoreo Participativo or Red MoP, in spanish) was formed: an alternative monitoring system supported by voluntary community collaboration of local population under a citizen science approach. This network collects and communicates data captured with standardized manual rain gauges (< 3USD). So far, it covers districts in the east metropolitan area of the capital city of Lima, on dense peri-urban areas, districts on the upper Rimac watershed on rural towns, and expanding to other upper watersheds as well.

Initially led by Practical Action as part of the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance, it is now also supported by SENAMHI (National Meteorological and Hydrological Service) and INICTEL-UNI (National Telecommunications Research and Training Institute), as an activity of the National EWS Network (RNAT).

For the 2019-2022 rainfall seasons, the network has been gathering data and information from around 80 volunteers located throughout the Rimac and Chillon river watersheds (community members, local governments officers, among others): precipitation, other meteorological variables, and information regarding the occurrence of events such as floods and debris flow (locally known as huaycos). SENAMHI has provided a focalized 24h forecast for the area covered by the volunteers, experimentally combines official stations data with the network’s for spatial analysis of rainfall, and, with researchers from the University of Bristol, analyses potential uses of events gathered through this network. In order to facilitate and automatize certain processes, INICTEL-UNI developed a web-platform and a mobile application that is being piloted.

We present an analysis of events and trends gathered through this initiative (such as a debris flow occurred in 2019). Specifically, hotspots and potential uses of this sort of refined spatialized rainfall information in the dry & tropical Andes. As well, we present a qualitative analysis of volunteers’ expectations and perceptions. Finally, we also present a meteorological explanation of selected events, supporting the importance of measuring localized precipitation during the occurrence of extreme events in similar complex, physical and social contexts.

How to cite: Arestegui, M., Ordoñez, M., Cisneros, A., Madueño, G., Almeida, C., Aliaga, V., Quispe, N., Millán, C., Lavado, W., Huaman, S., and Phillips, J.: Participatory rainfall monitoring: strengthening hydrometeorological risk management and community resilience in Peru, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-13115,, 2022.

SSS2 – Soil Erosion and Conservation

EGU22-37 | Presentations | SSS2.3

Feedbacks between water erosion and soil thinning 

Pedro Batista, Daniel Evans, Bernardo Cândido, and Peter Fiener

Soil erosion rates frequently exceed the pace at which new soil is formed. This imbalance can lead to soil thinning (i.e., truncation) whereby subsoil horizons, and the underlying parent material, emerge progressively closer to the land surface. These subsurface horizons may have contrasting physical, chemical, and biological properties from those of the original topsoil. Hence, soil thinning can induce changes in topsoil erodibility – a fact that has been largely overlooked in erosion modelling research and could affect long-term projections of soil erosion rates. Here we present a model-based exploration of the potential feedbacks between water erosion and soil thinning, using measured data from 265 agricultural soil profiles in the United Kingdom. We simulated annual erosion rates on these soil profiles with the Modified Morgan-Morgan-Finey model, assuming time-constant land cover, topographic, and rainfall parameters. As the original topsoil was successively removed, our model gradually mixed the subsurface horizons into a 20 cm ploughing layer. We applied this modelling framework on a yearly time-step over a 500-year period, or until the ploughing layer reached the bottom of the lowermost soil horizon. Soil texture, stone cover, and soil organic carbon content for the ploughing layer were recalculated for each time-step through a mass-balance model. Soil bulk density and soil moisture content at field capacity were estimated for each time-step by pedo-transfer functions developed from our own dataset. In addition, we employed a Monte Carlo simulation with 100 iterations per year to provide a forward error assessment of the modelled soil losses. We found that simulated erosion rates on 42 % of the soil profiles were sensitive to truncation-induced changes in soil properties during the analysed period. Among the profiles sensitive to soil thinning, 68 % displayed a negative trend in modelled erosion rates. This was largely explained by decreasing silt contents on the surface soil due to selective removal of this more erodible particle size fraction and the presence of clayey or sandy substrata. Moreover, an increased residual stone cover shielded the surface soils from detachment by raindrop impact and surface runoff. The soil profiles with a positive trend in erosion rates were characterised by the presence of siltier subsoil horizons, which increased topsoil erodibility as they were mixed into the ploughing layer. Overall, our results demonstrated how modelled erosion rates could be sensitive to truncation-induced changes in soil properties, which in turn may accelerate or slow down soil thinning. These feedbacks are likely to affect how we calculate soil lifespans and make long-term projections of land degradation.

How to cite: Batista, P., Evans, D., Cândido, B., and Fiener, P.: Feedbacks between water erosion and soil thinning, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-37,, 2022.

EGU22-152 | Presentations | SSS2.3

Spatial Variability of Rainfall Erosivity over India 

Ravi Raj, Manabendra Saharia, Sumedha Chakma, and Arezoo Rafieeinasab

Indian is worst affected by soil erosion, especially due to erosion induced by rainfall. A factor of Universal Soil Loss Equation (rainfall erosivity factor) needs to be estimated throughout the country to assess the soil erosion in the country. Indian climate is dominated by monsoons, and their intensity and distribution vary significantly throughout the country. Rainfall erosivity is solely derived from the rainfall intensity, which is a function of climatic properties. In this study, the distribution and variability of the rainfall erosivity factor (R factor) had been analyzed in different regions and sub-divisions of India as classified by India Meteorological Department (IMD). For estimation of rainfall erosivity, the widely adopted principle of kinetic energy and rainfall intensity had been used. A well-known precipitation index, Modified Fournier Index (MFI), was also calculated to check its influence on the R factor. Regression equations in the form of power-law are derived for all regions of the country to establish the relationship between the R factor and MFI. Further, an analysis at the sub-divisional level was also performed to visualize the spatial variability of the R-factor throughout the nation. South peninsula India with the lowest average R factor of 615.61 MJ-mm/ha/h/yr, was recognized as least vulnerable to rainfall erosivity while the East and Northeast India was recognized as most susceptible with a highest R factor of 3312.39 MJ-mm/ha/h/yr. About 36% of the entire subdivisions of the country were spotted with an average rainfall erosivity factor higher than the national average rainfall erosivity factor, and hence they are more prone to erosion induced by rainfall. Estimating rainfall erosivity factors at sub-divisional and regional levels will help policymakers and watershed experts prioritize the watershed management practices to counter soil erosion induced by rainfall erosivity.

Keywords – Rainfall erosivity, IMD, Spatial variability, Climate, Precipitation index

How to cite: Raj, R., Saharia, M., Chakma, S., and Rafieeinasab, A.: Spatial Variability of Rainfall Erosivity over India, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-152,, 2022.

LANDSLIDES are one of the destructive geological processes that occur throughout the world. At global scale, the landslides are one of the major natural disaster which deteriorate the soil quality at a very large scale. In the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR), the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand landslides occurred very frequently in rainy season due to the presence of fragile rocks, active tectonic activity and unplanned anthropogenic activities. Landslides causes the loss of soil nutrients and vegetation which in turn deteriorate the soil quality. They can have an enormous effect on biodiversity and significantly alter the soil quality. The rate of soil development in essential for determining the recovering capacity of soil after the losses occurred due to landslides and erosion.

Therefore, the present study analyzed the natural recovery of soil quality in terms of soil characteristics with the passage of time (chronosequence) in 4 disturbed sites of different ages i.e., 6-year-old (L1 site), 16-year-old (L2 site), 21-year-old (L3 site) and 26-year-old (L4 site) including control (undisturbed) site in the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand. 76 soil samples were collected from all the selected sites at two depths i.e., 0-15cm and 15-30cm. The collected soil samples were analyzed for various physical (bulk density (BD), particle density (PD), total porosity (TP), moisture content (MC) and sand, silt and clay content) and chemical characteristics (pH, electrical conductivity (EC), soil organic carbon (SOC), soil organic matter (SOM), mineralisable nitrogen (MN), available phosphorus (AP) and available potassium (AK). Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was done with all the 14 variables which are significantly different in order to establish minimum data set (MDS). The MDS includes SOC, AP and clay content on the basis of the PCA results. The soil quality index (SQI) was calculated using Integrated Quality Index (IQI) equation. Landslide affected sites L1, L2, L3 and L4 and control site had mean SQI scores of 0.136, 0.279, 0.447, 0.604 and 0.882, respectively.

The results have demonstrated that the control site had much better soil quality in comparison to the landslide affected sites because of its better nutrients content and better physical characteristics. The results have also shown that the soil quality tends to increase with the age of landslide, but the soil quality has not reached to the pre-disturbance level in a period of 26 years. The SQI shows the variations in landslide affected sites which could be used to detect variations in soils of disturbed areas. The results will also provide crucial information for evaluating the consequences, designing, and implementing restoration strategies.

How to cite: goyal, D. and Joshi, V.: Soil quality assessment in a chronosequence of landslides in Garhwal Himalayas, Uttarakhand, India, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-494,, 2022.

EGU22-539 | Presentations | SSS2.3

Assessment of soil erosion in the north flowing cratonic river basins, Peninsular India 

Rohit Kumar, Rahul Devrani, Rohitash Kumar, Sujang khiamniungan, Sourish Chatterjee, and Benidhar Deshmukh

Soil erosion accelerated by climatic variation and human impact has become a severe global environmental concern. It is required to engage policymakers to limit or regulate future soil erosion rates. In the Indian subcontinent, soil erosion in mountainous terrain and ravenous land is the most severely affected. North flowing Cratonic (NFC) Rivers (total catchment area ~ 327570 sq km) in the northern Peninsular region having deeply dissected channels are usually associated with ravenous land and have been proven to be vulnerable to climate change. Due to their climatic and topographic characteristics, NFC rivers basin are expected to exhibit diverse rate of soil erosion. This study focuses on the NFC river basins, namely, Chambal (141578.12 sq km), Sindh (29041.68 sq km), Betwa (43826.4 sq km), Ken (28674.7 sq km), Tons (17172 sq km) and Son (67277.1 sq km), to assess soil erosion and spatial pattern of soil erosion prone areas by employing the widely used RUSLE model. The factors used in the RUSLE model have been derived from different sources. The annual average rainfall derived using the Center for Hydrometeorology and Remote Sensing (CHRS) data shows an increasing trend from west to east, indicating arid climate in the western and humid climate in the eastern section. The Soil erodibility (K) factor has been estimated from soil maps of the National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning (NBSS-LUP), Nagpur. Topographic (LS) factor was derived from SRTM 30m DEM and crop management (C), and support practice (P) factors were calculated by assigning appropriate values to LULC classes created by ESRI (Environmental Systems Research Institute) using Sentinel-2 imageries at 10m spatial resolution.

Our findings show that the ravenous land in the Chambal, Sindh, Betwa and Ken river basins account for most of the high soil erosion rate in the study area. The soil loss rate increases from west to east in NFC river basins, ranging from low to extremely high. Although most of the Son river basin is covered by forest, other classes, i.e. bare land and fallow land, exhibit high erosion due to heavy rainfall. The research findings show spatial patterns of soil erosion in the NFC river basins and indicate minimal erosion in the regions of arid climates and significant erosion in the area of humid climates. Further, soil erosion hotspots identified primarily represent ravines and barren area classes. The information may be valuable to policymakers to plan for regulating future soil erosion rates in the region.

Keywords: North flowing cratonic rivers, RUSLE, Chambal River, Ravines, Soil erosion.

How to cite: Kumar, R., Devrani, R., Kumar, R., khiamniungan, S., Chatterjee, S., and Deshmukh, B.: Assessment of soil erosion in the north flowing cratonic river basins, Peninsular India, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-539,, 2022.

EGU22-579 | Presentations | SSS2.3

Soil pipe collapses in Europe: towards a continent-wide assessment 

Anita Bernatek-Jakiel, Matthias Vanmaercke, Jean Poesen, Anna Biernacka, Anastasiia Derii, Joanna Hałys, Estela Nadal-Romero, Panos Panagos, Dawid Piątek, Taco H. Regensburg, Jan Rodzik, Mateusz Stolarczyk, Els Verachtert, Patryk Wacławczyk, and Wojciech Zgłobicki

Piping erosion leads to land degradation and causes several environmental and societal problems, although this process is rarely considered in soil erosion studies. So far, there are no systematic studies at regional to global scales aiming to understand the patterns and controlling factors of soil piping. This is mainly due to the methodological challenges related to detecting soil pipes. With this project, we aim to address this gap by identifying piping-affected areas in Europe. For this, we are constructing a database on surface evidences of soil piping, i.e. pipe roof collapses (PCs) for the European Union and the UK. Locations and other details of PCs in this database are collected based on an in-depth literature review in combination with detailed mapping based on Google Earth imagery, ortophotos and LiDAR data (if available). While the work is still ongoing, we have already compiled information on >2000 PCs in 10 different countries. In a next phase, we will use this PC database to construct the very first data-driven piping erosion susceptibility map of Europe.

This research is part of the Twinning project “Building excellence in research of human-environmental systems with geospatial and Earth observation technologies” that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 952327.

How to cite: Bernatek-Jakiel, A., Vanmaercke, M., Poesen, J., Biernacka, A., Derii, A., Hałys, J., Nadal-Romero, E., Panagos, P., Piątek, D., Regensburg, T. H., Rodzik, J., Stolarczyk, M., Verachtert, E., Wacławczyk, P., and Zgłobicki, W.: Soil pipe collapses in Europe: towards a continent-wide assessment, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-579,, 2022.

EGU22-861 | Presentations | SSS2.3

A modified USLE-based approach combined with sediment delivery module to estimate soil loss and reservoir sedimentation rates in Alpine basins 

Konstantinos Kaffas, Vassilios Pisinaras, Mario Al Sayah, Simone Santopietro, and Maurizio Righetti

Reservoir sedimentation constitutes a major issue worldwide and a long-lasting priority for dam managers, especially when hydropower, and hence profit, is involved. Commonly, the problem of excessive sedimentation is attributed to failed prediction of the sediment supply from the upland basin prior to the construction of dams, namely to the underestimation of sediment inflow to the reservoir.

The sediment input in the Rio di Pusteria reservoir (South Tyrol, Italy) between two consecutive sediment flushing operations in June 2014 and May 2019, was determined by obtaining the volumetric difference between very high resolution (0.25 m) reservoir bathymetries conducted after the flushing of 2014 and before the flushing of 2019. The sediment yield in the reservoir during the latter period was found to be 453,783 t.

To calculate the sediment yield in the reservoir, we have applied a gridded seven-factor Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) combined with a Sediment Delivery Ratio (SDR) module in a high resolution (2.5 m) GIS environment, which enabled an accurate representation of the rapidly shifting Alpine topography. An additional factor for coarse fragments was added to the conventional six-factor USLE to account for the non-erodible part of the basin. This is of great importance as the USLE-based models are criticized to produce extreme erosion rates in uplands and mountain areas. The topographic factor, LS, was refined by the use of a fine scale DEM and the slope length factor, L, was adjusted to the Alpine terrain by means of a regulating threshold. The proposed SDR module does not rely on one but on several physiographic, topographic and hydrologic characteristics of the basin. Finally, the rainfall erosivity factor, R, was determined in two different ways, one representing the rainfall climatology of the study area and one the specific rainfall conditions of the study period, hence the application of the model in two distinct configurations.

The application of the combined USLE-SDR model resulted in five-year reservoir sedimentation rates of 439,279.2 t and 589,520.5 t, with deviations from the measured sediment yield of 3.3% and -25.5%. Excluding very high altitudes with glaciers and perennial snow, we consider the proposed modeling approach ideal for upper lands and mountainous areas such as the Alps.

How to cite: Kaffas, K., Pisinaras, V., Al Sayah, M., Santopietro, S., and Righetti, M.: A modified USLE-based approach combined with sediment delivery module to estimate soil loss and reservoir sedimentation rates in Alpine basins, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-861,, 2022.

EGU22-876 | Presentations | SSS2.3

Comparison of the Revised and Modified USLE models for prediction of sediment yield from grazing land in Central Queensland, Australia 

Jagriti Tiwari, Bofu Yu, D Mark Silburn, Rebecca Bartley, Craig M Thornton, Jo Owens, and Andrew Brooks

One of the major issues of the grazing land ecosystem is high sediment yield linked to extensive land clearing and conversion of native vegetation into grazing. It is essential to model hillslope sedimentation for improved prediction of sediment yield in grazed catchments. This study evaluated the performance of Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) and Modified Universal Soil Loss Equation (MUSLE) models in predicting sediment yield from grazed catchments and analyzed the effects of runoff, peak runoff rate and the RUSLE/MUSLE factor on annual sediment yield. Springvale, Brigalow, and Weany Creek catchments from Fitzroy and Burdekin Basins in Queensland, Australia, were selected as study areas. The MUSLE models performed better as compared to the RUSLE model for all three catchments. Compared to the RUSLE model, the MUSLE1 model with factors runoff and peak runoff rate was able to predict sediment yield for Weany creek and Brigalow catchment and the MUSLE2 with factors rainfall-runoff erosivity (EI30), runoff, and peak runoff rate performed well for Springvale and Brigalow catchment. The study found rainfall and runoff factors in Springvale and Brigalow catchments, and runoff factor and peak runoff rate in Weany catchments contributed to the variation of sediment yield. The estimated soil erodibility factor (K) was found 14%, 24%, and 60% higher for Springvale, Brigalow, and Weany Creek catchments, respectively, compared to K-factor from the Australian Soil Resource Information System (ASRIS). This study recommends using the MUSLE model to improve hillslope sediment yield prediction in grazing lands in Central Queensland.

How to cite: Tiwari, J., Yu, B., Silburn, D. M., Bartley, R., Thornton, C. M., Owens, J., and Brooks, A.: Comparison of the Revised and Modified USLE models for prediction of sediment yield from grazing land in Central Queensland, Australia, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-876,, 2022.

Motivation and aim: Mountain areas with beautiful scenery are attractive to visitors and offer such ecosystem services as recreation and spiritual opportunities. However, the mountain environment is fragile and easily degraded when recreation is not appropriately managed. This degradation limits recreation potential and can also be dangerous to visitors and local communities. Our study presents documentation of landscape degradation in response to a rapid increase in visitors number in an extreme environment of high-altitude (> 4000 m a.s.l) tropical mountains. Rainbow Mountain (Vinicunca) in Peru only recently became a world-renowned tourist destination. Rapid visitors’ influx caused severe landscape degradation and partly uncontrolled infrastructure development. We characterized and mapped different types of impacts related to visitor pressure and evaluated activities aimed to limit degradation and enhance visitor behaviour. 

Method of investigation: Fieldworks in the vicinity of Vinicunca were conducted in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Geomorphological mapping involved a field-based approach combined with the interpretation of orthomosaics generated from UAV imagery and high-resolution satellite data (WorldView-2, 2020). UAV images were processed using the structure-from-motion workflow. The characterization of dominant morphogenetic processes was based on ground-based observations, photographic documentation, and remote sensing data. 

Results and conclusions: We identified seven dominant morphogenetic processes responsible for landscape degradation: Based on field geomorphological mapping, five processes were most important in the degradation of landscape: (1) Vegetation trampling by hikers and animals (mostly horses, but also llamas); (2) Soil erosion concentrated on bare soil surfaces and caused the development of rill erosion and surface flow; (3) Soil compaction lead to soil hardening which in turn facilitate accelerated surface flow from the trail surface and enhancing water erosion further downslope; (4) Freeze-thaw cycles which weakened structure of the material making it more prone to erosion; (5) Dry-wet cycles also preparing the soil for further degradation activity. The abovementioned processes formed characteristic morphogenetic elements of the trails, which included: (1) Severely incised trail surface where the bottom of the trail can be as low as 1 m below the original land surface; (2) Braided trail network consisting of several parallel paths, without incision, or moderately incised with vegetation between individual paths; (3) Single, wide, bare soil trail tread indicating that vegetation was removed, and the surface is prone to soil erosion; (4) Water puddled in flat areas caused the development of muddy section, That in turn lead to increase in trail width, as the visitors tried to bypass muddy segment and trampled vegetation in their vicinity. Based on collected data, trail classification was developed that include a functional model of trails in slope and flat conditions. Our results indicate that in such a fragile environment, a rapid increase in visitors numbers can lead to permanent changes in the environment. Therefore, appropriate managerial actions need to be taken to limit the degradation of the environment. Trails’ maintenance is critical for limiting the degradation of trail vicinity, enhancing visitor perception, and limiting hazardous conditions.

This project was funded by Narodowe Centrum Nauki (National Science Centre, Poland), grant number 2015/19/D/ST10/00251

How to cite: Tomczyk, A. and Ewertowski, M.: Landscape degradation and development as a result of the intensification of tourism activity in a fragile, high-mountain environment: a case study of  Vinicunca (Rainbow Mountain), Peru, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-978,, 2022.

EGU22-1289 | Presentations | SSS2.3

Study on distribution characteristics of loess gully at medium watershed scale based on UAV images 

chunmei zhang, chunmei wang, qinke yang, guowei pang, lijuan yang, lei wang, and yongqing long

Abstract:Gully erosion is one of the soil erosion types with the largest sediment yield on the Loess Plateau, and also an important part of soil erosion control on the Loess Plateau. Based on the UAV aerial photography as in 2020, with systematic sampling method in Chabagou watershed and select 32 small watershed as the basic research unit, artificial visual interpretation method is used to draw small watershed, gully ditch, gully and ancient valleys line, gully region of northern Shaanxi loess cutting groove distribution characteristics and influencing factors of medium watershed scale of research and analysis. The results showed that : (1) The intensity of gully erosion in chabagou Basin is middle reaches & GT; Downstream & gt; In the upper reaches of the basin, the length, number and area of ditches per unit area are 9.03 km, 339.04 and 7.29hm2, respectively. More than 50% of the ditches are between 10m and 30m in length, and 60% of the ditches are less than 150m²; (2) The ancient gully length density, gully length density, gully strip density and gully area density were the highest in the middle reaches of the basin. (3) The positive and negative terrain area ratio and slope directly affect the gully density, showing a moderate correlation; NDVI and the proportion of cultivated land had an indirect effect on the gully density, and the correlation was strong. The length, density and number of ditches in shady slope were significantly higher than those in sunny slope. This paper can explain the development characteristics of gully at medium watershed scale in loess gully region, clarify its distribution law, and provide theoretical basis for gully erosion control. 

How to cite: zhang, C., wang, C., yang, Q., pang, G., yang, L., wang, L., and long, Y.: Study on distribution characteristics of loess gully at medium watershed scale based on UAV images, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1289,, 2022.

EGU22-1518 | Presentations | SSS2.3

How does a vertic soil move? Soil erosion rates and its redistribution in an olive orchard at the medium-term 

Gema Guzmán, Azahara Ramos, Javier Montoliu, and José A. Gómez

Water erosion measurement has been widely studied under different conditions using traditional approaches such as erosion collectors and more innovative ones such as sediment tracers.

La Conchuela is a commercial olive orchard located in Southern Spain. In 2008, six closed runoff plots, where regular machine traffic during farm operations was allowed, were established. Runoff water was channeled from the plots and collected by tipping-bucket gauges with 5-min resolution. This was completed with a sediment trap located upstream of the tipping buckets and a device to collect an integrated sample of the runoff downstream of the tipping buckets (Gómez & Guzmán, 2021). In two of these plots ground cover was controlled with tillage during the whole year while the rest keep a temporary cover crop during fall and winter.

In two of the plots (one with bare soil and other with temporary cover crop), the top 5 cm of the inter tree rows soil were tagged with magnetite. During the following years, three soil sampling campaigns (2008, 2010, 2016) were performed to measure variations of magnetic susceptibility within the soil surface and profile. Seventy locations at both plots were sampled at three depth intervals (0-1, 1-8, 8-12 cm in 2008 and 2010). A third sampling was carried out at 0-2, 2-10, 10-20 cm in 2016 at the same locations. Furthermore, twenty additional samples from 20-30, 30-40, 40-50, 50-60 cm were taken to check if tagged soil went deeper into the soil profile. In all these samplings, tree and inter tree rows were distinguished. Background susceptibility and bulk density at each depth, were characterised at the three sampling campaigns (Guzmán & Gómez, 2017).

During the period 2008-2019 there were not statistically significant differences between managements, bare soil vs temporary cover crops, in runoff or soil losses. Nevertheless, average runoff and soil losses had a trend to lower values for the cover crop treatment (142.9 mm and 16.5 t ha-1) as compared to bare soil (155.8 mm and 23.8 t ha-1). With the help of the magnetic tracer, the estimated erosion rates within the plots during 2009-2010 (the rainiest hydrological year within the study period with a precipitation of 1048.5 mm) were 115 t ha-1 and 58 t ha-1 in the bare soil plot and 62 t ha-1 and 44 t·ha-1 in the cover crop plot, from inter-tree rows and tree rows, respectively. The evolution of susceptibility suggests the potential of magnetite monitoring vertical fluxes at the mid-term also, due to wetting-drying cycles of vertic soils and soil disturbance agricultural practices. In fact, magnetic iron oxide was detected at initially untagged deeper soil layers (20-60 cm) in both inter-tree and tree rows. This highlights the relevance of accounting vertical displacement in any kind of tracer study in vertic soils and its implications at the medium-term (2008-2016) for the determination of erosion rates which will be presented in this communication.

Gómez, J. A., Guzmán, G. 2021. In EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts (EGU21-606,

Guzmán, G., Gómez, J. A. 2017. In EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts (Vol. 19, EGU2017-4357-2).

How to cite: Guzmán, G., Ramos, A., Montoliu, J., and Gómez, J. A.: How does a vertic soil move? Soil erosion rates and its redistribution in an olive orchard at the medium-term, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1518,, 2022.

In France, erosion by water run-off is estimated to 1.5 t ha-1 yr-1 and can reach 10 t ha-1 yr-1 in the large agricultural area of northern France. The Canche River watershed (1294 km²) in the Hauts-de-France region has been studied since 2016 to better understand its high sensibility to soil erosion. Agricultural soil erosion leads to the gradual disappearance of fertile topsoil, which constitute a non-renewable resource at human time scale. Once the soil is eroded, its pathway through the river may significantly degrade the water quality e.g. in terms of suspended particulate matter and nutrient, fertilizer, pesticide, and heavy metal input. Since almost a decade, efforts are made to reduce soil erosion by installing anti-erosion equipment such as fascines, grass strips, and retention basins. The aim of this study is to understand and characterize erosion process from small to large scale.

This study presents the monitoring of two intercalated sub-catchments from the Canche River watershed. The first elementary catchment (Pommeroye creek; 0.54 km²) disposes of a multiparameter high frequency (10 min) monitoring station (turbidity, liquid yield, conductivity, automatic sampling) completed by monthly field monitoring of the soil surface characteristics. This monitoring aims to understand detailed erosion processes such as hysteresis phenomena or the impact of anti-erosion management at catchment scale. To support these measurements, drone overflights are carried out to calculate the volume of soil moved or stored in ravines and at fascines between two distinct erosion events.

A second monitoring station further downstream in the intermediate-sized catchment (100 km²) of the Planquette River (tributary of the Canche River) follows the transit of suspended particulate matter to understand the transit time from up to downstream and the hysteresis phenomena between liquid and solid fluxes.

Over the last year (2021), more than 30 erosion events have been recorded on the elementary catchment, showing a variability on the amount of exported soil depending on the rain amount but also on seasonality on the soil surface characteristics and finally, the importance of the phenomenon of deposition/remobilization of the eroded material. The drone overflights between two important erosion events will help to estimate the importance of this deposition/remobilization phenomenon. The soil surface monitoring during the last year showed clearly the degradation of the infiltrative characteristics leading to an increased susceptibility to erosion. This degradation rate depends on the culture type and the time passed without plant cover.

How to cite: Delaporte, M., Alary, C., Franke, C., and Billon, G.: Monitoring and understanding soil erosion processes in elementary agricultural catchment and its consequences on the hydro-sedimentary fluxes in river (northern France), EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1591,, 2022.

EGU22-1683 | Presentations | SSS2.3

Quantitative Assessment and Mapping of soil water and wind erosion in Pakistan 

Xuyan Yang, Qinke Yang, Haonan Zhu, and Lei Wang

 Soil erosion is a serious environmental problem, water erosion and wind erosion pose a greater threat to the sustainable development of Pakistan. In order to provide a scientific basis for the Pakistan’s soil and water conservation, this study used sub-meter resolution sampling survey (totally 475 units) and regional soil erosion factors (R, K, LS, B) as data sources, and calculates soil erosion rate maps (5m resolution) for each sampling unit based on the CSLE model, then uses a machine learning method to quantitatively make a soil erosion rate map in Pakistan that are closer to the real soil erosion characters. Based on climate, soil, topography, vegetation and other datas, the RWEQ model was used to quantitatively estimate the soil wind erosion rate map of Pakistan. Finally, the soil water erosion and wind erosion rate maps of Pakistan were spatially overlaid, taking into account the natural conditions of Pakistan, and according to the soil loss tolerance threshold, the study area is divided into wind erosion area, water erosion area, wind/water erosion interlaced areas. The results showed that : (1) Soil erosion in Pakistan is mainly concentrated in Potohar and its surrounding areas, the desert in the southwest, and the Thar desert in southeast. (2) The Kharan Desert in Balochistan and the Thar Desert in the southeast are dominated by wind erosion, Punjab and Sindh are dominated by water erosion, and wind and water erosion are combined in the northern mountainous areas and around the Suleiman Mountains Range. This study quantitatively estimated the rate of soil water erosion and wind erosion simultaneously in Pakistan, the results can more accurately express the spatial distribution characteristics of soil erosion in the country, provide a scientific basis for policy-making of soil and water conservation.

How to cite: Yang, X., Yang, Q., Zhu, H., and Wang, L.: Quantitative Assessment and Mapping of soil water and wind erosion in Pakistan, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1683,, 2022.

Soil erosion is a very complex physical and geographical phenomenon, which is affected by both natural and human activities. Based on theoretical and technical methods such as CSLE model, Classification and Regression Tree (CART) and Google Earth Engine (GEE), on the basis of obtaining medium and high resolution soil erosion factors, this study systematically analyzed the temporal and spatial variation of soil erosion rate on the Loess Plateau in the past 40 years and the changes of the main controlling factors of soil erosion before and after “returning farmland to forest (grass)”. The main conclusions are as follows: (1) The soil erosion rates of the Loess Plateau in 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010, and 2017 were 2207.57, 1725.13, 981.18, 727.79, and 640.00 t/(km2∙a), showing a decreasing trend overall. As the most serious soil erosion area on the Loess Plateau, the Loess Hilly and Gully region has a significant weakening trend in its soil erosion rate, but its five-phase average soil erosion rate is still more than twice the average of the whole region, 4414.77, 3485.19, 1884.37, 1296.21, 1135.04 t/(km2∙a). (2) Before returning farmland to forest (grass) (before 1999), rainfall erosivity (R) was the main controlling factor for soil erosion. After the large-scale implementation of various soil and water conservation measures, the influence of biological measures (B) on soil erosion rate increased; in the sandy region of the Loess Plateau dominated by low-coverage grasslands, soil erosion was significantly affected by rainfall erosivity (R). The main controlling factors of soil erosion in the loess hilly and gully area changed significantly around 2000, from the combined effect of terrain (LS) and vegetation (B) to the combined effect of rainfall erosivity (R), gully erosion factor (g) and vegetation (B). (3) The average soil erosion rate under different land use types on the Loess Plateau is characterized by cultivated land>grassland>forest land. From 1980 to 2017, the soil erosion rate from cultivated land to forest land decreased the most, and the change slope was -74.84 (t/(km2∙a))/a, followed by cultivated land to grassland and grassland to forest land, both of which changed the slope of soil erosion. They are -51.88 (t/(km2∙a))/a and -49.05 (t/(km2∙a))/a, respectively. This research can provide a scientific basis for the needs of future comprehensive management planning and soil and water conservation construction in the basin.

How to cite: Huang, C. and Yang, Q.: Temporal and spatial variation of soil erosion rate in the Loess Plateau and its main controlling factors in the past 40 years, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1966,, 2022.

    As one of the important indicators reflecting the regional ecological environment, fractional vegetation coverage is significant for regional eco-environmental protection and sustainable utilization of resources. To understand changes in the ecological environment of the ecologically fragile areas in the Loess Plateau affected by “Grain for Green” Program and its main driving forces in the past two decades, this study taking Yulin City as a typical example of the fragile ecological environment on the Loess Plateau, to analyze spatial-temporal variations of the vegetation coverage in Yulin City during the past two decades based on the pixel dichotomy model with vegetation index, using univariate linear regression methods. The dominant factors and interaction between factors influencing the interannual changes and spatial distribution of vegetation coverage are analyzed using the partial correlation analysis and geographic detector methods during the different period in “Grain for Green” Program. Results showed that: (1) The vegetation coverage in Yulin City significantly increased (S = 0.011, p < 0.01) from 2001 to 2020. The vegetation coverage during the construction periods (2001-2010) increased significantly (S = 0.013, p <0.01); while its increase in the consolidation periods (2011-2020) was relatively slow (S = 0.005, p > 0.05). (2)The spatial distribution of vegetation coverage in Yulin City decreased from east to west from 2001 to 2020. The vegetation coverage of all counties (districts) in Yulin City shows an overall increasing trend, among which the eastern part of Yulin City has a more significant growth trend. However, the proportion of area in the construction periods (82.1%) was larger than that in the consolidation periods (58.0%). (3) The cumulative area of the Grain for Green Program was the dominant factor in the construction periods, while it was rainfall in the consolidation period. (4) Soil texture, rainfall, and land use type mainly affected the spatial distribution of vegetation coverage from 2001 to 2020. Soil texture was closely related to changes in the vegetation coverage both in the construction and consolidation periods. The spatial heterogeneity of vegetation distribution and the interaction between the main influencing factors provides a scientific basis for the precise implementation of ecological restoration measures.

How to cite: Liu, Y., Liu, B., and Zhang, J.: Spatial-Temporal Changes Of Vegetation Coverage In Yulin City And Its Influencing Factors During The Past Two Decades Since The Implementation Of The“Grain For Green” Program, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2091,, 2022.

EGU22-2210 | Presentations | SSS2.3

Investigation of the applicability of rainfall generators for the estimation of the rainfall erosivity for ungauged locations 

Nejc Bezak, Ross Pidoto, Hannes Müller-Thomy, Bora Shehu, Ana Callau-Beyer, Katarina Zabret, and Uwe Haberlandt

Rainfall erosivity is one of the main inputs for soil erosion modelling. Long high-resolution rainfall time series are needed for the estimation of rainfall erosivity but these are likely to be lacking at many locations around the globe. An alternative approach could be the generation of synthetic rainfall time series using stochastic rainfall models. In this study, four methods for estimating the rainfall erosivity were evaluated at ungauged sites:

i) estimation from regionalised observed 5 minute rainfall time series,

ii) direct regionalisation of the rainfall erosivity estimated from observations,

iii) estimation from 5 minute rainfall time series disaggregated from daily observations,

iv) estimation from rainfall time series generated by a regionalized stochastic rainfall model.

Data from 159 stations from Lower Saxony, Germany, were used to evaluate the performance of different methods. All tests were performed using the leave-one-out cross validation method. Additionally, we also analysed the minimum time series length necessary to adequately estimate the rainfall erosivity.

The results indicated that the direct regionalization of the mean annual rainfall erosivity yielded the best performance in terms of relative bias followed by the regionalization of the 5 minute rainfall data. However, the main advantage of the rainfall generators is that they can generate long synthetic time series and can also provide estimates of other rainfall erosivity characteristics such as number of erosive rainfall events, etc. Applying the alternating renewal model indicated that more than 60 years of data are needed to obtain a stable estimate of rainfall erosivity and that rainfall erosivity estimations using 5 years of data can lead to significant uncertainty. Moreover, it was also found that the rainfall erosivity calculations are sensitive to the resolution of the input data.  

Acknowledgment: The results of the study are part of the bilateral research project between Slovenia and Germany “Stochastic rainfall models for rainfall erosivity evaluation” (BI-DE/18-19-008). 

How to cite: Bezak, N., Pidoto, R., Müller-Thomy, H., Shehu, B., Callau-Beyer, A., Zabret, K., and Haberlandt, U.: Investigation of the applicability of rainfall generators for the estimation of the rainfall erosivity for ungauged locations, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2210,, 2022.

EGU22-2252 | Presentations | SSS2.3

Long-term hydrologic effect of temporary cover crops in an olive orchard on a sandy-loamy soil 

Jose Alfonso Gomez, javier Montoliu, and Gema guzman

Temporary cover crops are a well stablished erosion control tool in Mediterranean tree crops such as olives or vines. Short-term (3-4 years) studies have stablished their beneficial effect in term of reducing runoff and soil losses (e.g. Gómez et al. 2009) at hillslope scale. There are few studies which have measured their hydrologic impact in the long-term. Gómez et al. (2021) in a long-term study of runoff and soil losses at hillslope scale in an olive orchard on a vertic soil noted how the reduction of runoff losses using temporary cover crops as compared to a bare soil was less than expected.

Santa Marta is a commercial olive orchard located nearby Seville, Southern Spain, with a mean slope of 11 %, with a sandy-loam textural class, and an average annual precipitation of 534 mm. In 2003, two closed runoff plots (60 long, 480 m2) where regular machine traffic during farm operations was allowed. Four additional plots where stablished in 2005. Since then, runoff and sediment have been collected to determine soil erosion rates, with more details in Gómez et al. (2009). In two of these plots a bare soil management, CT, implemented with regular passes (1 to 3 a year) of chisel has been maintained, while in the other four plots temporary covers controlled by mowing had been used. In 2005 and 2006 two of these plots were seeded with a mix of species, CCm, to enhanced biodiversity, while the other two plots have since the start of the experiment regularly seeded with short-term cycle annual grasses.


During the period 2003-2020 the experiment received an average annual, from 269 to 859 mm, and an average rainfall erosivity of 830 MJ mm ha-1 h-1 yr-1, from 268 to 1750. Average annual runoff and soil losses for the CT treatment were 57.5 mm and 22.9 t ha-1. For the CCg treatment the average losses were 33.8 mm 2.6 t ha-1 and for the CCm 33.7 mm 2.6 t ha-1 without statistically significant differences, at p<0.05 using a Kruskall-Wallis test, in runoff or soil losses between the CCg and CCm treatments. There was a significantly statistical difference in runoff and soil losses between the CT and both CC treatments. The use of temporary cover crops in an olive orchard with moderate machine traffic had a huge effect in reducing erosion, cumulative soil losses were 402.2 t ha-1 in CT vs. 39.1 t ha-1 in CC, while moderate in runoff, 57.1 vs. 33.5 mm year-1. We discuss the temporal evolution of these differences and its implications for soil management, linking them to some soil properties analysed during this time period within the plots.


Gómez, J.A., et al. 2009. The influence of cover crops and tillage on water and sediment yield, and on nutrient, and organic matter losses in an olive orchard on a sandy loam soil. Soil and Tillage Research 106: 137-144

Gómez, J. A., Guzmán, G. 2021. Long-term evaluation of cover crops on soil and runoff losses under trafficked conditions in olive orchards. EGU21-606,

How to cite: Gomez, J. A., Montoliu, J., and guzman, G.: Long-term hydrologic effect of temporary cover crops in an olive orchard on a sandy-loamy soil, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2252,, 2022.

An extensive erosion plot database measuring soil loss and runoff under natural rainfall in China was compiled to gain new understanding of the overall response of the soil loss and runoff rate to land use, slope gradient, slope length and mean annual precipitation. Our results show that land use dominates the variation of soil loss and runoff: Soil loss and runoff rates on land covered by natural vegetation are one to three orders of magnitude lower in comparison to rates on agricultural land that is strongly disturbed by anthropogenic activities. Slope gradient and slope length affect soil loss and runoff rates on cropland but there is no statistically significant effect on either soil loss or runoff rate on permanent vegetation. This implies that different extrapolating relationships need to be used for cropland in comparison to land with permanent vegetation when erosion plot data are used to assess the erosion risk over large areas. Runoff rates consistently increase with mean annual precipitation. The relationship between soil loss and mean annual precipitation is different and is nonlinear for all land use types, with a clear increase of soil loss with precipitation up to a mean annual precipitation of ca. 700 mm yr-1, a subsequent decline and a second rise when the mean annual precipitation exceeds ca. 1400 mm yr-1. This non-linear response can be attributed to the interplay of an increasing rainfall erosivity and an increasing protection due to vegetation cover with increasing mean annual precipitation. It also implies that the effect of climate change on the erosion risk is not straightforward but depends on how both rainfall erosivity and vegetation cover change with changing climate.

How to cite: Zhao, J.: Nonlinear response of soil erosion to mean annual precipitation: evidence from erosion plot data in China, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2546,, 2022.

EGU22-2803 | Presentations | SSS2.3

Aggregate stability and potential erodibility of dry steppe soils 

Moritz Koza, Julia Pöhlitz, Aleksey Prays, Robert Mikutta, Klaus Kaiser, Christopher Conrad, Cordula Vogel, Kanat Akshalov, Andrey Bondarovich, and Gerd Schmidt

Erosion caused by extreme climate conditions and intense agricultural use is a severe threat to the soil quality of dry steppe ecosystems. The susceptibility of soil to erosion depends mainly on the stability of its structure against mechanical stress, which is directly related to the stability of aggregates. However, there is no generally accepted method to determine soil aggregate stability and most tests cannot be adequately linked to disruptive forces soils experience under field conditions. Thus, our main objective was to explore the aggregate stability of steppe soils against disruptive stresses by wind and water to assess their potential erodibility. We examined 132 topsoil samples from northern Kazakhstan under two land-use types (grassland and cropland), covering a large range of physico-chemical soil properties (texture, organic carbon, inorganic carbon, pH, and electrical conductivity). We combined several methods that capture the soil`s susceptibility against mechanical stresses common in the dry continental climate: An adjusted drop-shatter technique (energy input of 60 Joule) was used to estimate the stability of dry soil against weak mechanical forces, such as wind stroking over bare soil after tillage and before crop emergence. In addition, three wet-aggregate stability tests (fast wetting, slow wetting, and wet mechanical breakdown) were used to estimate the stability of soil aggregates under various stresses caused by precipitation. Results indicate that aggregate stability was generally higher for grassland than cropland soils. Aggregate stability under both land-use types decreased along with increasing sand and decreasing organic carbon contents. The drop-shatter method suggested that only 5% of cropland soils were at high risk of wind erosion (i.e., erodible fraction <60%). In contrast, the fast wetting test revealed that  98% of the samples are unstable after a heavy rain event or snowmelt. Even after a light rain event or the raindrop impact, 54-58% of the samples were unstable and prone to erosion.

We conclude that cropland in the dry steppe of Kazakhstan is much more vulnerable to the disruptive forces caused by water than by wind. Especially the severe breakdown of aggregates during heavy rain events or snowmelts goes well in line with the increasing erosion risk under current and future climate scenarios.

How to cite: Koza, M., Pöhlitz, J., Prays, A., Mikutta, R., Kaiser, K., Conrad, C., Vogel, C., Akshalov, K., Bondarovich, A., and Schmidt, G.: Aggregate stability and potential erodibility of dry steppe soils, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2803,, 2022.

EGU22-2809 | Presentations | SSS2.3

The effects of Soil-Improving-Cropping-Systems (SICS) across Europe: a simulation study 

Jantiene Baartman, Joao Pedro Nunes, Luuk Fleskens, Roel Vanhout, Lingtong Gai, and Hedwig Van Delden

One of the strongest challenges for European agriculture is to simultaneously reduce its negative environmental impact and at the same time, remain competitive. A key aspect of the environmental impact is the ongoing soil degradation. Within the Soil Care project, sustainable agricultural practices were investigated that could improve soil quality, termed soil improving cropping systems (SICS); four plausible scenarios were developed with different levels of SICS uptake. In this study we aimed to evaluate how such SICS, through the different scenarios, impact crop yield, soil organic carbon content and land degradation (specifically erosion and soil water dynamics) across Europe, through the application of the PESERA and dyna-QUEFTS models. The Pan-European Soil Erosion Risk Assessment (PESERA) model simulates biophysical processes including above-ground biomass production, soil erosion risk, soil water deficit and soil humus content and was adapted and calibrated for Europe. The dyna-QUEFTS model calculates nutrient limitations and was used to calculate crop yields using PESERA output information. All four scenarios were run from current (2020) until 2050 and for two climate trajectories. Results indicate that the ‘Caring and Sharing’ scenario likely provides the best sustainability impacts (i.e. stable or increased SOC contents and reduced erosion) due to widespread uptake of SICS, compared to the ‘Race to the Bottom’ scenario, in which no SICS were taken up, although regional differences can be seen from the spatially explicit maps that the modelling produces. While, by necessity, the models are a simplification of the reality and assumptions and input data quality affect the results, a comparative analysis of the scenarios and their likely effect can still be made and will be helpful for agricultural policy development across Europe. In addition, the modelling tool provides the opportunity to further analyze which SICS are effective where and to explore the impacts of SICS implementation.

How to cite: Baartman, J., Nunes, J. P., Fleskens, L., Vanhout, R., Gai, L., and Van Delden, H.: The effects of Soil-Improving-Cropping-Systems (SICS) across Europe: a simulation study, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2809,, 2022.

EGU22-2921 | Presentations | SSS2.3

Data-driven prediction of gully densities and erosion risk at the global scale 

Matthias Vanmaercke, Yixian Chen, Sofie De Geeter, Jean Poesen, Benjamin Campforts, Pasquale Borrelli, and Panos Panagos

Gully erosion is a key driver of soil erosion and land degradation in many regions worldwide, leading to important on- and offsite impacts. While numerous studies have focussed on understanding gully erosion at local scales, we have very little insights into the patterns and controlling factors of this process at a global scale. Overall, gully erosion remains notoriously difficult to simulate and predict. A main reason for this is that the complex and threshold-dependent nature of gully formation leads to very high data requirements when aiming to simulate this process over larger areas.

Here we help bridging this gap by presenting the first data-driven analyses of gully head densities at a global scale.  For this, we developed a grid-based scoring method that allows to quickly assess the range of gully head densities in a given area based on Google Earth imagery. Using this approach, we constructed a global database of mapped gully head densities for around 20,000 sites worldwide. Based on this dataset and globally available data layers on relevant environmental factors (topography, soil characteristics, land use) we explored which factors are dominant in explaining global patterns of gully head densities and propose a first global gully head density map as well as a gully erosion risk map. The latter combines gully density with estimates of the likely expansion rates of gullies. For this we use a combination of machine learning techniques and empirical modelling.

Our results indicate that there might be are around 2 billion gully heads worldwide. This estimate might underestimate the actual numbers of gully heads since ephemeral gullies (in cropland) and gullies under forest remain difficult to map. Our database and analyses further reveal clear regional patterns in the presence of gullies. Around 27% of the terrestrial surface (excluding Antarctica and Greenland) has a density of > 1 gully head/km², while an estimated 14% has a density of > 10 gully heads/km² and 4% has even a density of > 100 gully heads/km². Major hotspots (with > 50 gully heads/km²) include the Chinese loess plateau, but also Iran, large parts of the Sahara Desert, the Andes and Madagascar. In addition, gully erosion also frequently occurs (with typical densities of 1-50 gully heads/km²) in the Mid-West USA, the African Rift, SE-Brazil, India, New-Zealand and Australia.

These regional patterns are mainly explained by topography and climate in interaction with vegetation cover. Overall, the highest gully densities occur in regions with some topography and a (semi-)arid climate. Nonetheless, it is important to point out that not all gully heads are still actively retreating. Building on earlier insights into the magnitude and controlling factors of gully head retreat rates, we hypothesize that hotspots in terms of gully erosion are mostly situated in somewhat more humid and densely cultivated areas. Based on this, we explore what our current results imply for assessing actual gully erosion rates at a global scale.

How to cite: Vanmaercke, M., Chen, Y., De Geeter, S., Poesen, J., Campforts, B., Borrelli, P., and Panagos, P.: Data-driven prediction of gully densities and erosion risk at the global scale, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2921,, 2022.

Scale issues in runoff and sediment delivery (SIRSD) is a hot and frontier topic in the fields pertinent to hydrology and soil erosion. This study combined bibliometric analysis and data mining to provide a systematic and holistic review of global SIRSD studies. The bibliometric results indicate that SIRSD is a comprehensive and multidisciplinary issue that has been extensively investigated with a wide variety of methods by scientists from 85 countries since the 1950s. The rapid growth of publications over the last three decades reveals that the discussions on SIRSD are attracting booming attention due to its great potentials for research and practice on various contemporary issues of environment and natural resources. Especially topics about hydrological and sediment connectivity, storm flood, nonpoint pollution, landslide and debris flow are drawing increasing concerns under the context of climate change. Thematic structure analysis indicates that SIRSD field centres the spatial scaling issues in the delivery of suspended sediment, including sediment budget analysis and sediment delivery ratio (SDR) estimation. Compared to studies dealing with erosion and sediment that mainly focus on the spatial scale, studies related to hydrological runoff and climate tend to discuss more temporal scale issues. Regarding the study distribution, most studies cluster on the time scale from an event to 10 years and the spatial scale from plot to meso-watershed (10 m2-1000 km2) and tend to appear in regions that feature free-flowing rivers with rapid agricultural development. Based on the mined 1039 pairs of data on the relationship between SDR and the watershed area, we built a global view of the spatial effect on SDR. The spatial scale effect on SDR is most prominent in Europe, followed by the USA, then the Global average, while most gentle in China due to its high topographic variability. On the contrary, the average SDR is highest in China (0.51), followed by the Global case (0.37), then the USA (0.34), while lowest in Europe (0.28) due to its low mean topographic slope. From this review, we identified several research gaps: 1) lack of multi-scale studies with nested across-scale design and studies on the spatial scale effect on runoff delivery; 2) considerable gaps among the results obtained from different regions, methods, and scales; 3) debatable and unclear questions on the spatio-temporal scale of underground water and soil loss in the karst region. Moreover, we emphasize three areas for future research: 1) scale issues of flood processes regarding extreme rainstorms under climate change; 2) scale transformation methodology and multi-scale modelling of hydrology, erosion, and sediment transport and their integrations with the climate models; 3) comparative study in different regions to bridge the regional gaps.

How to cite: Ke, Q. and Zhang, K.: Scale issues in runoff and sediment delivery: a global review and statistical analysis, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-3371,, 2022.

EGU22-3433 | Presentations | SSS2.3

Characteristics of the drop size distribution and rainfall erosivity of throughfall beneath a deciduous tree canopy 

Mark Bryan Alivio, Nejc Bezak, Mojca Šraj, and Matjaž Mikoš

Throughfall constitutes the majority of incident precipitation reaching the ground under any type of vegetation canopies. Its characteristics play a crucial role in understanding the sub-canopy hydrologic and erosional processes. The present study examines the drop size distribution (DSD) and erosivity of throughfall beneath the birch tree (Betula pendula Roth.) canopy during its leafed period using a Parsivel1 optical disdrometer installed in the experimental plot in the city of Ljubljana, Slovenia. The momentum and kinetic energy of throughfall drops were used to express the impact of the tree canopy on the potential erosive power of throughfall on a soil surface which was computed from the measured raindrop size and velocity. The microstructures of open rainfall and throughfall were measured simultaneously by an optical disdrometer during the two separate precipitation events that occurred on August and September 2021 with an accumulated amount of 34.4 mm in 7.3 hours and 87.6 mm in 7.6 hours, respectively. On an event basis, the preliminary results show that the throughfall DSD for both events exhibits two contrasting modes (i.e. bimodal peaks) while open rainfall has only one which is attributed to the influence of canopy interception and storage. The total number of throughfall drops is higher compared to the open field condition but are smaller in size, comprising nearly 89% of the recorded drops are below 1 mm while only 0.23% are greater than 2.4 mm. Additionally, the median-volume drop diameter (D50) of the throughfall is 1.31 mm for an extreme event (September 2021) and 0.98 mm for a medium-magnitude rainfall (August 2021) which is respectively, 70% and 79% lower than those in open precipitation. On the other hand, the raindrops from moderate and heavy precipitation have greater momentum to cause soil particle displacement with a corresponding value of 60.49 and107.83 kg m s-1 m-2 than the throughfall drops (40.99 and 87.49 kg m s-1 m-2). Similarly, a throughfall kinetic energy of 91.96 and 187.77 J m-2 is respectively 64% and 82% lower than the energy loads of raindrops in the open environment. Owing to the effects of the birch tree canopy, the distribution of throughfall reduces the erosive potential of raindrops by approximately 36% and 18% for the two selected rainfall events during the leafed period. These results accentuate the importance of understanding the different characteristics of throughfall from the open rainfall which is necessary for the prediction of soil erosion processes in areas where this tree species is abundant in nature.


Acknowledgments: Results are part of the CELSA project entitled “Interception experimentation and modelling for enhanced impact analysis of nature-based solution” and research programme P2-0180 supported by the Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS).

How to cite: Alivio, M. B., Bezak, N., Šraj, M., and Mikoš, M.: Characteristics of the drop size distribution and rainfall erosivity of throughfall beneath a deciduous tree canopy, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-3433,, 2022.

EGU22-3671 | Presentations | SSS2.3

A robust evaluation a revised version of the MMF-TWI soil erosion model 

Andres Peñuela, Vanesa Garcia Gamero, and Tom Vanwalleghem

Soil erosion represents a serious challenge for agricultural production and for the environment. Soil erosion impacts, such as reduction of fertile soil, alteration of the carbon cycle and pollution and eutrophication of water bodies, represent a significant management concern. Modelling approaches can deliver indicators on the state of soil erosion impacts and its trends, and scenarios in relation to climate and land use change. This can help define efficient and targeted mitigation strategies. However, to define such strategies, there remains a lack of modelling approaches able to provide with long term baseline information which to measure the success of the mitigation strategies as well as model evaluation approaches robust enough so model results can be trusted by users, including researchers and land managers. The MMF-TWI soil erosion model has demonstrated its ability to simulate soil erosion and the effect of agricultural management practices over centennial scales in humid environments. However, it needs to be revised and evaluated before the model can be applied more widely in other climate areas. In this study, we present a revised version of MMF-TWI incorporating infiltration excess overland flow and a robust and innovative multi-proxy model evaluation approach in an olive orchard catchment in South Spain. The evaluation approach consists of a) the comparison of model simulations with estimations of past soil loss rates obtained from both Pu fallout radionuclide tracers and tree mound measurements and b) the evaluation of the plausibility of the model behaviour by means of global sensitivity analysis.

How to cite: Peñuela, A., Garcia Gamero, V., and Vanwalleghem, T.: A robust evaluation a revised version of the MMF-TWI soil erosion model, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-3671,, 2022.

EGU22-3704 | Presentations | SSS2.3

Influence of terraced fields on eroded terrain indicators:take the second of gullied rolling area on the Loss Plateau as an instance 

Bingjie Qiao, Qinke Yang, Chunmei Wang, Guowei Pang, and Endan Li

In order to study the influence of artificial terrain (terraced fields) on topographic factors, this paper, based on the basic principles of soil erosion and soil conservation, uses aerial photogrammetry to obtain high-precision DEM in Zhifanggou watershed, and extracts the slopes of terraced and non-terraced areas , Slope、Length and Slope Length factor, Topographic Wetness Index, Connectivity Index and Relative Path Impact Index, and analyze the changes of these factors to understand the impact of terraces on eroded terrain. The research shows that: (1) The construction of terraces makes the slope slow down, the slope length is cut off, and the LS factor becomes smaller; (2) The construction of terraced fields reduces the connectivity at the field surface and increases the connectivity at the ridge; the IC value of terraced fields is greatly affected by slope, and the IC value of non-terraced fields is greatly affected by slope length. (3) With the increase of slope, the connectivity of sediment increases and soil erosion intensifies; runoff accumulation is likely to occur in local depressions, resulting in increased connectivity of sediment. (4) The relative path impact index is effective for identifying erosion risk areas susceptible to changes in water flow paths. This paper expounds the influence of terraced fields on eroded topographic indicators and hydrogeomorphology, which is of great significance for accurately assessing the impact of terraced fields on soil erosion and for soil erosion control in the Loess Plateau.

How to cite: Qiao, B., Yang, Q., Wang, C., Pang, G., and Li, E.: Influence of terraced fields on eroded terrain indicators:take the second of gullied rolling area on the Loss Plateau as an instance, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-3704,, 2022.

EGU22-4017 | Presentations | SSS2.3

First gully probability map for Africa at 30m resolution 

Sofie De Geeter, Matthias Vanmaercke, Gert Verstraeten, Jean Poesen, and Benjamin Campforts

Gully erosion is an important process of land degradation that threatens soil and water resources worldwide. However, our ability to simulate and predict this process is still very limited, especially on the continental scale. Nevertheless, such models are essential for the development of appropriate land management strategies, but also to better quantify the role of gully erosion in sediment budgets. One of the main challenges is that patterns of gully erosion depend on regional patterns of controlling factors (e.g., rainfall, lithology, soils), but are also strongly determined by local factors (e.g., topography, vegetation cover, land management). This greatly increases the complexity of potential models and their data requirements. We seek to bridge this gap by developing a robust empirical model capable of predicting gully erosion at high resolution on the scale of Africa with feasible data requirements.

More precisely, we are developing a logistic probability model at 30m resolution for the entire African continent that predicts the likelihood of gully head occurrence by using GIS and spatial data sources that are available on the continental scale.  Although empirical in nature, the factors included in this model are consistent with the current process understanding of gully erosion. To calibrate and validate this model, we make use of an extensive database of 44 000 gully heads mapped over 1680 sites, randomly distributed across Africa. The exact location of all gully heads was manually mapped by trained experts, using high resolution optical imagery available in Google Earth. This allows to extract very detailed information at the level of the gully head, such as the local slope and the area draining to the gully.

Our first analyses show that gully occurrences mainly depend on topography (slope and to some extent contributing area), soil characteristics (i.e., mainly silt fraction) and vegetation cover. Combined, these factors already allow for robust and fairly reliable predictions of gully head occurrences (with AUCs of the logistic regression model around 0.7). Better incorporating the role of rainfall and climate will likely result in better predictions which is ongoing work.

Based on these results we present a first gully probability map for Africa at 30m resolution. Besides providing essential information on gully density hotspots, this offers great potential to couple our gully density model to a gully retreat rate model and to make a first assessment of gully erosion rates at the continental scale of Africa.

How to cite: De Geeter, S., Vanmaercke, M., Verstraeten, G., Poesen, J., and Campforts, B.: First gully probability map for Africa at 30m resolution, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4017,, 2022.

EGU22-4173 | Presentations | SSS2.3

Quantifying the impact of soil erosion on soil security by using alternative fallout radionuclides 

Vanesa García-Gamero, Andrés Peñuela, José Luis Mas, Adolfo Peña, Santiago Hurtado Bermúdez, and Tom Vanwalleghem

Soil erosion by water is a severe problem throughout the world that threatens soil security and the health of water bodies. This problem is aggravated by global climate change, leading to more intense rainfall and drought events. Moreover, soil erosion also intensifies the impacts of drought by reducing the soils' capacity to hold water and maintain sustainable crop yields. This project aims to evaluate the current status and future evolution of soil security in the Guadalquivir basin. For this purpose, we use a combination of predictive modelling and estimations of long-term soil erosion-deposition rates based on field observations and measurements of fallout radionuclide (FRN) tracers in representative catchments. We test and apply a novel method for analyzing 239+240Pu isotopes, that offers a much cheaper way of analysis and hence a potential new standard to estimate long-term soil erosion-deposition rates. Spatially distributed estimations of long-term soil erosion-deposition rates are used to calibrate and evaluate the soil erosion models RUSLE and MMF-TWI which will then be used to assess present and future soil resource status in the catchments of study. Here, we present the preliminary results of this project, particularly the results obtained by the analysis of 239+240Pu  isotopes in an olive grove catchment and how these results compare against the more established 137Cs analysis and estimations of soil truncation based on measurements of the height of olive tree mounds.

How to cite: García-Gamero, V., Peñuela, A., Mas, J. L., Peña, A., Hurtado Bermúdez, S., and Vanwalleghem, T.: Quantifying the impact of soil erosion on soil security by using alternative fallout radionuclides, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4173,, 2022.

EGU22-4953 | Presentations | SSS2.3

Impact of plant cover on soil erosion, and barriers to cover crop use in Spanish orchards. 

Helena Ripley, Carly Stevens, and John Quinton

Soil erosion is high in hillside orchards in Spain. Climate change is causing an increase in the length of dry periods and intensity of rainfall, which exacerbates soil loss from fields. Due to the lack of rain during the summer, orchard farmers, concerned about water competition for tree crops, remove ground cover. However, without raindrop interception the soils are vulnerable to erosion and gullying. While cover crops between tree crops are beneficial in controlling soil erosion, farmers are slow to take up this practice. Both a mesocosm experiment identifying the value of vegetation cover, and survey responses from farmers about erosion management practices are outlined below.

Rainfall simulation was used in a mesocosm experiment to determine the effect of plant cover on sediment loss. Three species native to Spain were used in five treatments consisting of Brachypodium distachyon, Medicago sativaSilene vulgaris, a mix of the three species, and a bare plot. The plots were raised to a 10o angle before subsampled runoff and sediment was collected under simulated rainfall. A questionnaire was sent to crop tree farmers in Spain asking about their experiences of soil erosion, techniques used to combat it, if any, and their views on methods of soil and water conservation.

Significantly higher (p < 0.05) rates of sediment loss were measured from the bare plots (34.26 ± 19.85 g min-1), relative to the vegetated ones (6.13 ± 8.27 g min-1). This indicates the importance of cover crops to reduce soil erosion. The farmers responding to the questionnaire are aware of this. From a total of 26 respondents, 88% believe that cover crops decrease erosion. However, 58% think that lack of knowledge about effective methods of erosion control is a barrier to implementing techniques.     

This presentation will give an overview of the methods used in carrying out rainfall simulation and the questionnaire, in addition to the results gathered.

How to cite: Ripley, H., Stevens, C., and Quinton, J.: Impact of plant cover on soil erosion, and barriers to cover crop use in Spanish orchards., EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4953,, 2022.

EGU22-5566 | Presentations | SSS2.3

Modelling the spatial variation in susceptibility to gully initiation and stabilization in the Southern Main Ethiopian Rift Valley 

Liuelsegad Belayneh, Olivier Dewitte, Guchie Gulie, Jean Poesen, Cornelis Stal, and Matthieu Kervyn

Gullying is a common soil erosion process in Southern Ethiopia, damaging agricultural landscapes and contributing sediments to water bodies. River catchments extending across the rift escarpment within lakes Abaya and Chamo Basin in the Southern Main Ethiopian Rift are areas experiencing such problems. Impact of gullying depends on the state of activity of gullies, i.e. inactive gullies might have had a role in the landscape formation, but they can now be considered stable and not contributing to sediment delivery to the downstream, unlike the active gullies. In order to reduce the impact of active gullies, understanding the conditions under which gullies initiate, expand and stabilize is vital. In this paper, the location where new gullies initiate and where they stabilize is modelled spatially. To determine factors controlling for the initiation of new gullies, the potential gully initiation points were extracted along more than 4520 active gullies using slope and drainage area thresholds. The susceptibility of gully initiation is then modelled using logistic regression and frequency ratio methods, with a set of 14 predisposing factors. The conditions for gully stabilization are assessed by modeling the location of the head of more than 1080 inactive gullies. Highly susceptible areas for gully initiation are mainly modelled in rejuvenated landscapes downslope of knickpoints, where steep slopes have been recently formed by knickpoint propagation.most susceptible areas for gully initiation are observed in concave slopes with high topographic wetness index, whereas heads of inactive gully stabilized when slopes become convex with a lower topographic wetness index. The area under receiver characteristics curve (AUC) of the validation data ranges from 0.75 to 0.85 for all susceptibility models; prediction rate of gully initiation and stabilization vary from 70 to 93%. Our results indicate that the applied models are reliable and have very good prediction performance of gully initiation and stabilization and that such approach contrasting the gully initiation point and the gully head location enable to better understand the gullying process. The resulting susceptibility maps are a step towards contributing to the decision-making process on the optimized locations of soil and water conservation measures, and thus contributing to landscape sustainability.

How to cite: Belayneh, L., Dewitte, O., Gulie, G., Poesen, J., Stal, C., and Kervyn, M.: Modelling the spatial variation in susceptibility to gully initiation and stabilization in the Southern Main Ethiopian Rift Valley, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5566,, 2022.

EGU22-6154 | Presentations | SSS2.3

Fallout radionuclides indicate a 10% loss of European topsoil in 50 years 

Katrin Meusburger, Olivier Evrard, Cristiano Ballabio, Pasquale Borrelli, Michael Ketterer, Kristof van Oost, Florian Wilken, and Christine Alewell

Quantifying soil erosion is a major research challenge due to erosion's episodic character and spatial variation. Fallout radionuclides as 239+240Pu and 137Cs are powerful tools to assess net soil losses integrated over long periods applicable to most regions of the world. The traditional approach of the FRN method is based on the comparison between an inventory (total radionuclide activity per unit area) at a given sampling site and that of an undisturbed reference site (e.g., located in a flat and well-vegetated area). Compared to reference, a decrease in the FRN inventory indicates erosion and an increase indicating deposition of sediments and associated FRN. So far, FRN based assessment was restricted to a regional/catchment scale as spatially distributed data of reference inventories was missing.

In this study, we aim at upscaling the FRN approach to a central area of Europe covering France, North Italy, South Germany, and Belgium using the Land Use/Cover Area frame Survey – LUCAS soil sample bank. Both fallout sources left a specific radionuclide imprint in European soils. First, plutonium was used to quantify global versus Chernobyl fallout contributions to 137Cs found in European soils. Subsequently, spatial prediction models (general additive models) allowed reconstructing the global versus Chernobyl 137Cs fallout pattern across national boundaries. The definition of these 137Cs and the Pu baseline maps allows assessing soil redistribution rates at n=137 cropland sites with both FRNs across the study area. We selected barley, wheat, maize, and vineyard plots covering different slope angles as cropland sites. For both FRNs, differences between the reference and site-specific FRN inventory show an inventory and associated topsoil (0-20cm) loss of approximately 10% since 1963. Converting these inventory changes with a simple mass balance model to soil redistribution rates results in average soil erosion rates of 8.8 ± 6.3 t/ ha yr, assuming a tillage depth of 20 cm. Although the involved uncertainties are large, these net erosion rates exceed the expected magnitude.

How to cite: Meusburger, K., Evrard, O., Ballabio, C., Borrelli, P., Ketterer, M., van Oost, K., Wilken, F., and Alewell, C.: Fallout radionuclides indicate a 10% loss of European topsoil in 50 years, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6154,, 2022.

EGU22-7414 | Presentations | SSS2.3

Logging residues promote positive interactions between soil erosion, soil functioning and soil macrofauna diversity in young rubber plantations in Africa. 

Louis Mareschal, Jean-Louis Janeau, Marianne Legrand, Frédéric Gay, Aymard Kouakou, Alain Brauman, Antoine Manizan, Jean-Paul Laclau, and Thibaut Perron

Soil erosion causes major problems of land degradation in agricultural systems leading to losses of soil fertility. Rubber tree is one of the main tropical perennial crops with about 13 million hectares of plantations worldwide in 2018. In the early stage of a rubber plantation, soil is especially vulnerable to degradations given the low canopy cover and heavy soil surface disturbance related to clear-cutting of the previous plantation. This study aims at assessing runoff and soil losses as well as understanding the main soil factors influencing soil erosion in a young rubber plantation in Côte d’Ivoire. We intensively measured soil runoff, soil detachment, soil structure maintenance and soil macrofauna for 2.5 years under different managements of logging residues and the use or not of a legume cover crop. The results showed that the restitution of logging residues has reduced runoff by 6 and soil losses by 14 compared to plot without logging residues, over the study period. The planting line where soil is kept bare was by far the most critical area in term of soil erosion. The restitution of logging residues significantly improved soil structure maintenance as well as soil macrofauna diversity. We found strong relationships between runoff, soil losses, soil structure and soil macrofauna diversity. These results evidence that the restitution of logging residues and the sowing of cover crop are appropriate agroecological practices in young rubber plantations. Our results suggest that keeping a cover in the planting line could be the most relevant lever to limit soil erosion in the context of the study.

How to cite: Mareschal, L., Janeau, J.-L., Legrand, M., Gay, F., Kouakou, A., Brauman, A., Manizan, A., Laclau, J.-P., and Perron, T.: Logging residues promote positive interactions between soil erosion, soil functioning and soil macrofauna diversity in young rubber plantations in Africa., EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7414,, 2022.

EGU22-7717 | Presentations | SSS2.3

Using VIS-NIR reflectance spectroscopy and magnetic susceptibility to assess soil redistribution due to erosion 

Aleš Klement, Miroslav Fér, Radka Kodešová, Antonín Nikodem, Tereza Zádorová, and Vít Penížek

Soil degradation due to water erosion is one of the greatest problems of agricultural soils worldwide. To be able to map the extent of soil degradation and consequently propose actions for soil improvement, an effective approach is needed. Soil organic carbon (SOC) content and its time fluctuations is one of the key features characterizing the given site and occurring processes. It is widely accepted as the main soil quality indicator and therefore can be used for soil degradation assessment. Traditional laboratory techniques (dry combustion, wet oxidization) of soil organic carbon determination are usually labor intensive and time consuming, which means they are not suitable for large sample collections (e.g., large areas or continual monitoring). Therefore, there is a need for fast, reliable, and cost-effective techniques. Our previous study documented that the VIS-NIR reflectance spectroscopy and magnetic susceptibility can be a very efficient tool for SOC mapping with the Chernozem (a loess region of South Moravia, Czech Republic) areas heavily affected by water erosion. Within this area colluvial soils with up to an about 4 m deep humus enriched horizon were developed. Distribution of soil properties within the colluvial soil profiles at several positions were evaluated using standard and novel methods to distinguishing the different sedimentation phases and understanding colluvial soil formation. The same study was also performed in another two locations (Cambisol and Luvisol areas). Results showed that while both methods could be used for estimation of SOC distribution within the soil profiles in the Chernozem area, in the other two areas the VIS-NIR reflectance spectroscopy method was less accurate and magnetic susceptibility was inaccurate because there was no correlation between SOC and content of ferrimagnetic particles.


Acknowledgement: Study was supported by the Czech Science Foundation, project "Pedogenesis of colluvial soils: a multidisciplinary approach in modeling the dynamics of development in the soil-landscape environment" (No. 21-11879S) and also by the European Structural and Investment Funds, projects NutRisk (No. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/16_019/0000845).

How to cite: Klement, A., Fér, M., Kodešová, R., Nikodem, A., Zádorová, T., and Penížek, V.: Using VIS-NIR reflectance spectroscopy and magnetic susceptibility to assess soil redistribution due to erosion, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7717,, 2022.

EGU22-8179 | Presentations | SSS2.3

Mitigation of surface runoff and soil erosion in potato farming 

Matthias Konzett, Elmar Schmaltz, and Peter Strauss

The potato is known as a particularly erosion-prone crop due to its late seed development and the unique structure of its seedbed (wide-rows). Therefore, improved tillage practices are needed in order to counteract and mitigate adverse effects of erosion.

This research evaluates the effectiveness of three mitigation measures – furrow greening, micro-dams heaped between furrows, and greened micro-dams – over a three-year study period in Lower Austria. Runoff plots were used to quantify surface runoff and collect each treatment's eroded material during precipitation events. The contents were emptied after each event, dried, weighed, and, if possible, analyzed for grain size distribution and nutrient composition. Additionally, the soil water content of the ridges and furrows and the potato yield was determined for each treatment in the 2021 field campaign to evaluate further effects of each treatment.

Results show that with a furrow greening soil erosion was reduced between 48 – 83% compared to the control treatment. By heaping micro-dams, soil erosion was reduced by 79 – 98%, and with the additional greening of micro-dams sediment yield was lowered by 94 – 99%. Micro-dams increased the water content in the furrows after a precipitation event but not in the ridges. Regarding potato yield, no significant difference was observed between treatments.

The results of this study show the potential of micro-dams to reduce on-site and off-site effects of soil erosion on sloped agricultural land. Depending on the steepness of the slope and the intensity of precipitation events, breaking of micro-dams can occur and therefore lose their mitigation effect. Through the additional greening of micro-dams, further stabilization could be reached, thus withholding precipitation events of higher intensities.

How to cite: Konzett, M., Schmaltz, E., and Strauss, P.: Mitigation of surface runoff and soil erosion in potato farming, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-8179,, 2022.

EGU22-9179 | Presentations | SSS2.3

Mapping and analysing “badass gullies” in the loess regions of Lower Austria 

Sarah Diem and Ronald Pöppl

Gully erosion represents a core process of land degradation and a serious threat to ecosystems and their services. Loess regions in the northern part of Lower Austria can be considered as particularly susceptible to the development of gullies. However, relatively little attention has been paid to gully erosion in these areas (e.g. neither gully inventories, nor information on gully characteristics are available). Therefore, the aim of this study was to map, document and geomorphometrically analyse gullies and to further delineate gully hot spot areas in the loess regions of Lower Austria.
A Digital Elevation Model (DEM) with a spatial resolution of 1 m has been used to visualise, map and geomorphometrically analyse gully erosion features in the research area in a GIS. Moreover, calculations of gully volumes have been adduced to determine the amount of eroded material in a selected gully hot spot catchment. The main focus throughout the study has been put on sunken lanes and permanent gullies, which have been explicitly identifiable in this region.
The results show strong concentrations of gullying in the loess areas of the eastern Waldviertel and the Weinviertel regions, both being characterised by intensive agricultural use. Sunken lanes are mainly found in the hilly and terraced landscapes of vineyards, while clusters of permanent gullies are usually found in agricultural fields but also forests surrounded by agriculture and used for silviculture. The hot spot areas exhibit a gully density of up to 17 permanent gullies per km² and 5 sunken lanes per km². Permanent gullies are often of remarkable size, showing volumes of up to 100,000 m³, more than 500 m in length and depths reaching 20 m and more. The longest observable sunken lane has a length of 1.6 km and a volume of nearly 70.000 m³.
More detailed results will be presented at the EGU General Assembly 2022.

How to cite: Diem, S. and Pöppl, R.: Mapping and analysing “badass gullies” in the loess regions of Lower Austria, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9179,, 2022.

EGU22-9930 | Presentations | SSS2.3

Reservoir siltation mapping uncertainties – experiences from South Africa 

Jussi Baade, Kevin Zoller, Wilhelm van Zyl, and Hayley Cawthra

Mapping reservoir siltation is an often-used method for assessing sediment yield and soil erosion from catchments. An advantage of this approach is that measurements can potentially provide mean values that represent timeframes of several decades and thus overcome the bias induced by climate fluctuations, especially in semi-arid and arid regions. Furthermore, reservoir siltation mapping can be performed repeatedly, and thus repeated sediment yield trends over time can be derived. There are several studies that report sediment yield estimates based on reservoir siltation surveys, however, information on the uncertainties involved in these measurements is not frequently reported.

In October 2019 and March 2020, we conducted reservoir siltation surveys of eight mid-size (~ 10 mio m³ water storage capacity), filled and dried-out reservoirs in South Africa. The water-filled reservoirs were surveyed using single beam, single frequency echosounders mounted to a boat. The dried-out reservoirs were surveyed using differential GNSS and a Terrestrial Laser-Scanner (TLS) with a scanning range of up to 1 km deployed at multiple scanning positions.

In this contribution we present survey results, report on the issues encountered during the surveys and the uncertainties observed in the results. For the water-filled reservoirs we derived depth measurement uncertainties from the survey leg intersection points. Here, the mean measurement error is in the order of 0.1 m (p= 0.05). When this uncertainty of the volume estimation is applied to the water storage capacity of the dams, the resulting uncertainties are inthe order of a few percent, only. However, if this volume estimation uncertainty refers to the volume of the sediment at the bottom of the reservoirs, the relative error is can be in the order of a few ten percent. From this we conclude, that depending on the sediment inflow, it may take several decades before a repeated survey can establish a meaningful trend in sediment yield from the catchment beyond the measurement uncertainties involved.

How to cite: Baade, J., Zoller, K., van Zyl, W., and Cawthra, H.: Reservoir siltation mapping uncertainties – experiences from South Africa, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9930,, 2022.

EGU22-10460 | Presentations | SSS2.3

Development of continuous and discontinuous gullies in the Moldavian Plateau of Romania 

Lilian Niacsu, Ion Ionita, Jean Poesen, and Michael Fullen

Intense gully erosion has sculptured remarkable channels into the Moldavian Plateau of eastern Romania. These permanent gully types are: (1) discontinuous gullies, mostly located on hillslopes and (2) large continuous gullies in valley bottoms.

This study seeks to improve our understanding of the development of 1) continuous gullies over six decades (1961-2020) and 2) discontinuous gullies over variable time-scales (mostly 17-30 years, but also including data collected since 1961) by providing quantitative information on gully evolution and processes. Several methods were used to measure and estimate gully growth. These include intensive field monitoring using the ‘stakes grid method,’ repeated levelling until 2019, analysis of aerial photographs and Caesium-137 analysis.

            As regards the continuous gullies, results indicate that gully erosion rates have significantly decreased since 1981. The mean linear gully head retreat rate (LGHR) of 7.7 m yr-1 over 60 years was accompanied by a mean areal gully growth rate in plan (AGG) of 213 m2 yr-1.  However, erosion rates between 1961-1980 were 4.0 times larger for LGHR and 5.9 times more for AGG compared to those for 1981-2020. Two regression models indicate that annual precipitation (P) is the primary controlling factor, explaining 57% of the LGHR and 53% of the AGG rate. The contributing area (CA) follows, with ~33%. Only 43% of total change in LGHR and 46% of total change in AGG results from rainfall-induced runoff during the warm season. Accordingly, the cold season (with associated freeze-thaw processes and snowmelt runoff) has more impact on gully development. The runoff pattern, when flow enters the trunk gully head, is largely controlled by the upper approaching discontinuous gully.

The discontinuous gullies occur as single, successive chains or clusters. These are associated with small catchments (usually <100 ha in area) and ephemeral peak runoff discharges are usually ≤2 m3 s-1. The mean LGHR for 31 gullies was 0.97 m yr-1, indicative of a relatively small erosion rate. However, their ‘pulsatory’ development was mostly controlled by runoff accommodation when runoff enters and is conveyed through a gully. We further analysed the changing runoff pattern or ‘variable-geometry flow.’ The R2 of the relation between LGHR or AGG and  (CA) indicated a weak correlation for discontinuous gullies.

How to cite: Niacsu, L., Ionita, I., Poesen, J., and Fullen, M.: Development of continuous and discontinuous gullies in the Moldavian Plateau of Romania, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-10460,, 2022.

EGU22-10994 | Presentations | SSS2.3

Soil erosion under extreme rainfall events: detecting and modelling using a radar-runoff-nowcasting-system 

Rossano Ciampalini, Sandro Moretti, Ascanio Rosi, Andrea Antonini, and Alberto Ortolani

Soil erosion by water is one of the most widespread forms of soil degradation in Europe, where the relevant annual cost for agricultural productivity loss is estimated to be around 295 million euros. Under climate changes, soil erosion due to rainfall is dramatically increasing, for the most part because of an increasing of the frequency of extreme, localised events.

Here, we present the MSCA-Horizon2020 project, focused on understanding and quantifying extreme rainfall effects on soil erosion, by means of ground-based weather-radar observations and hydrological modelling at regional scale (namely in Tuscany, central Italy).

In critical hydrological phenomena, such as intense surface runoff, flooding and soil erosion, the spatiotemporal extent is crucial in the development of the processes. This feature significantly  affects the impact and the evolution of critical phenomena, especially during extreme events. Therefore, an approach directed to refine as much as possible the knowledge of these dynamics is recommended both at the monitoring and the modelling level.

Using an approach based on statistical analyses of rainfall data from ground-based radar and modelling, this project aims to: 1) Quantify on historical data the spatiotemporal distribution of extreme rainfalls / runoff and soil erosion over the last years, 2) Build a platform to model runoff and soil erosion during extreme events in real-time, 3) Simulate in real-time runoff and soil erosion behaviours related to extreme rainfalls, integrating the current regional-warning-system for the extreme weather events.

How to cite: Ciampalini, R., Moretti, S., Rosi, A., Antonini, A., and Ortolani, A.: Soil erosion under extreme rainfall events: detecting and modelling using a radar-runoff-nowcasting-system, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-10994,, 2022.

EGU22-11215 | Presentations | SSS2.3

The fuzzy effect of soil conservation practices on runoff and sediment yield from agricultural lands at the catchment scale 

Roey Egozi, Nadav Bekin, Yaakov Prois, and Jonathan Laronne

Intensive soil degradation of agricultural lands during the past decades led local authorities in the Harod Catchment, northern Israel, to implement soil and water conservation practices. Herein, for the first time in Israel, we quantified the impact of these practices on water discharge, runoff/rainfall, and sediment yields at the catchment scale. We monitored two neighboring tributaries of the Harod River: Shkedim and Shunem. Both are dominated by intensive agriculture, are similar with respect to soils and rain patterns, but differ in terms of tillage and soil conservation practices - implemented in abundance in the Shkedim catchment. Inner-catchment processes were studied at the plot scale using a structure for motion photogrammetry, utilizing an unmanned aerial vehicle. At the catchment scale, we used airborne LIDAR to provide a better understanding of the extent to which different geomorphometric characteristics might influence flood discharge, suspended sediment concentration, and yield. We monitored the impact of temporal changes in vegetation cover with remote sensing. Intense storms occurring in early winter when the soil was bare and freshly tilled generated much runoff and sediment. During three field seasons, measured mean annual sediment yields were 820 and 2,000 t km−2 y-1 for Shkedim and Shunem, respectively. The benefits of soil conservation practices applied in the Shkedim catchment are manifested by lower runoff yields and peak discharges. Conservation practices together with milder topography were identified to limit flow continuity and to promote sinks, while in the Shunem, tillage parallel to contour lines induced higher hydro-geomorphic connectivity. Still, Shkedim soil loss is high due to cultivation of riparian zones, lack of maintenance of engineered structures, and a larger area of bare soil during winter due to rotational cropping. These blur the efficiency of soil conservation practices at the catchment scale.

How to cite: Egozi, R., Bekin, N., Prois, Y., and Laronne, J.: The fuzzy effect of soil conservation practices on runoff and sediment yield from agricultural lands at the catchment scale, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-11215,, 2022.

EGU22-11484 | Presentations | SSS2.3 | Highlight

Processes controlling the transportation of microplastics in agricultural soils 

Emilee Severe, Ben Surridge, and John Quinton

Every year 12.5 million tons of plastic are used in agricultural production across the globe with plastic films accounting for 75% of this plastic. Once added to the soil, removing agricultural plastic is challenging as exposure to sunlight and other environmental elements fragment the plastics into macro- and microscopic pieces. In addition to this direct input, agricultural soils accumulate microplastics from several other sources e.g., biosoilds input, runoff from roads and atmospheric deposition. Soils are usually thought of as sinks for plastic waste but growing literature suggests mismanaged agricultural soils could be significant sources of plastics to aquatic and other terrestrial environments. In this study, we investigated the process of microplastic movement in response to rainfall and overland flow. We compared the movement of two types of plastic (linear low-density polyethylene and acrylic) in two size fractions with sand particles in rainfall simulation experiments. We examine the extent to which plastic particles are preferentially eroded compared to fine sand particles, alongside the relative importance of particle size and polymer type for controlling the erosion of plastics from soil.

How to cite: Severe, E., Surridge, B., and Quinton, J.: Processes controlling the transportation of microplastics in agricultural soils, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-11484,, 2022.

EGU22-13030 | Presentations | SSS2.3

Slope incline as a factor influencing the ejection of two-phase soil splashed material 

Michał Beczek, Magdalena Ryżak, Rafał Mazur, Agata Sochan, Cezary Polakowski, and Andrzej Bieganowski

Soil, i.e. the natural outer layer of the lithosphere and an important component of many ecosystems, may be subjected to various degradation processes dependent on different factors. One of the forms of physical degradation is water erosion, where the first stage is the splash phenomenon caused by water drops hitting the soil surface during rainfall. This process results in detachment and ejection of splashed material and transport thereof over different distances. One of the factors that influences the magnitude of soil splash is the incline of the surface (slope). The aim of this study was to check the effect of the slope on the course of the splash phenomenon caused by single-drop impact, with respect to the mass and proportions of the ejected material, taking into account its division into solid and liquid phases i.e. soil and water.

The measurements were conducted on three types of soil differentiated in terms of texture, in moistened conditions (pressure head corresponding to -1.0 kPa). Three slope inclines were investigated: 5°, 15°, and 30°. After a single-drop impact (with a diameter of 4.2 mm), the ejected material was collected using a splash cup. Based on this the following quantities of splashed material were measured: the total ejected mass, the mass of the ejected solid phase and the mass of the ejected liquid phase. Also, the distribution and proportions (soil/water) of the splashed material were analysed in both the upslope and downslope directions. The results showed that: a) the change of slope had a variable influence on the measured quantities for different soils; b) the measured values were mainly influenced by the texture; c) with the increase of slope, the splashed material was mostly ejected in the downslope direction; d) the ejected material consisted mostly of water, this occurred for material ejected both upslope and downslope.


This work was partly financed from the National Science Centre, Poland; project no. 2018/31/N/ST10/01757.



Beczek M., Ryżak M., Mazur R., Sochan A., Polakowski C., Bieganowski A.: Influence of slope incline on the ejection of two-phase soil splashed material. PLOS ONE 17(1): e0262203, 2022

How to cite: Beczek, M., Ryżak, M., Mazur, R., Sochan, A., Polakowski, C., and Bieganowski, A.: Slope incline as a factor influencing the ejection of two-phase soil splashed material, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-13030,, 2022.

EGU22-13197 | Presentations | SSS2.3

How do runoff and soil loss vary over time in subtropical areas? 

Dimaghi Schwamback, Jullian Sone, Gabriela Gesualdo, Alex Watanabe, Felipe Zepon, Lucas Scutti, Luis Castro, and Edson Wendland

Brazil is seen as a potential world breadbasket in which an increase of around 40% in its current production is expected by the year 2050 to attend food demand imposed by world population growth. The disorderly intensification of agriculture results in erosion, losses and exhaustion of soil nutrients, abandonment of the area, and opening of new agricultural ones. The authors were motivated by the questioning of how significant the changes at surface runoff and soil loss over time are. Thus, this work aimed to investigate the temporal component (10 years) in the surface runoff and soil loss of a typical soil found in the Cerrado biome (Brazilian Savanah), an area that shelters a large part of the national agricultural production. The study area is located in Itirapina municipality, central region of the State of São Paulo, Brazil (22º10'S, 47º52'W, elevation of 790m). The region's mean annual rainfall is about 1486 mm and humid subtropical climate, with hot summers and dry winters. The soil type found is the Orthic Quartzarenic Neosol (RQo), which occupies approximately 15% of the Cerrado biome superficial area. Surface runoff and sediment yield are monitored in rectangular experimental plots (5 meters wide, 20 meters long, and 9% slope). Monitoring takes place in six plots kept under bare soil (three plots constructed in 2011, called P1, and another three plots constructed in 2020, called P2). Runoff flows downhill and is automatically registered through large tipping buckets and then stored in large boxes (360 liters). Runoff samples are collected after each precipitation event to identify the amount of sediment in the liquid sample. To study the pedological characteristics, soil samples were collected at different depths (15, 30, 60, and 90 centimeters) of the experimental plots in 2013 and 2022 and sent to laboratory analyses such as granulometric, porosity, density, and hydraulic conductivity. It was observed that P1 has a runoff volume 10.3% greater than P2 under the same dimensions and slope. Runoff usually starts first and lasts longer at P1 than P2. P1 soil exposure to precipitation and solar radiation over 10 years modified the superficial pedological characteristics, causing: clogging of the pores, loss of superficial soil layer, particle breakdown, and deposition near the outlet plot. Currently, the sediment carried at P1 is rich in soil particles of larger dimensions while P2 has high clay contents. The differences in the hydrological responses of the experimental plots were confirmed through laboratory analyses demonstrating that P1 has lower clay, organic matter, and porosity contents in the plot surface layers compared to P2. Most runoff and soil loss monitoring are limited to campaigns covering isolated events up to 1 year, but records over a long time as given above are scarce, especially in tropical and subtropical areas, demonstrating its relevance to the soil research community.

How to cite: Schwamback, D., Sone, J., Gesualdo, G., Watanabe, A., Zepon, F., Scutti, L., Castro, L., and Wendland, E.: How do runoff and soil loss vary over time in subtropical areas?, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-13197,, 2022.

EGU22-2258 | Presentations | SSS2.4

Enabling carbon farming: presentation of a robust, affordable and scalable method of carbon stock estimates 

Sven Verweij, Tessa van der Voort, Maarten van Doorn, Yuki Fujita, and Gerard Ros

The main hurdle in instrumentalizing agricultural soils to sequester atmospheric carbon is a development of methods to measure soil carbon stocks on farm level which are robust, scalable and globally available. We present a method for soil carbon stock assessment using satellite data, stratified sampling design, direct soil measurements via mobile soil sensors and machine learning, which fulfills these criteria. The method has been tested and applied for multiple farms in Europe and the United States on agricultural fields with variable crop rotations, soil types and management history. Results show that the estimates are precise, repeatable and that the approach is rapidly scalable and is able to detect variation in soil carbon stock up to a 10 meter resolution. Carbon stocks in the top 30 cm range between 17-55 ton C/hectare. Error propagation analysis showed that the error associated with the soil sensor on the level of farm C stocks is less than 5%. This precision can be achieved with as few as 0.5 field samples per hectare for farms varying from 60 to 250 hectares, ensuring affordability and scalability of the method. The method is globally applicable because it uses covariates which are also globally available. These findings can enable the structural and widespread implementation of carbon farming with a standardized method. In future, as the calibration dataset increases, even less field data will be needed to obtain robust C stock estimates.

How to cite: Verweij, S., van der Voort, T., van Doorn, M., Fujita, Y., and Ros, G.: Enabling carbon farming: presentation of a robust, affordable and scalable method of carbon stock estimates, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2258,, 2022.

EGU22-2919 | Presentations | SSS2.4

Agro-hydrological modeling of soil water retention measures to increase crop system resilience to extreme events 

Maria Eliza Turek, Volker Prasuhn, and Annelie Holzkämper

An increase in the occurrence of drought events potentially aggravate conflicts between agricultural water use and other human and ecological demands for water resources. Increasing the natural soil water retention capacity can help to defuse these conflicts and at the same time strengthen climate mitigation, biodiversity, and food security. Although a variety of measures may be taken to increase soil water retention in agricultural systems, their effects in response to climate extremes are largely unknown. As part of the OPTAIN initiative (OPTimal strategies to retAIN and re-use water and nutrients in small agricultural catchments across different soil-climatic regions in Europe,, this project aims to evaluate the soil water dynamics affected by these measures and their extent of influence on the cropping system, looking for possibilities to increase the resilience to drought stress under current and future climatic conditions. The steps include (1)  utilizing information from a long-term lysimeter experiment to setup, calibrate and validate a detailed model of soil water dynamics (SWAP) for a typical Swiss cropping system, (2) specifying soil water retention measures through modifications of input parameters based on a literature review (and additional field measurements), and (3) apply the model to conduct a series of simulation experiments with varying combinations of soil water retention measures and future climate scenarios. Study findings will identify soil water retention measures with the largest potential to mitigate drought stress limitations to agricultural productivity, helping to make future arable production systems in Switzerland less dependent on supplement irrigation.

How to cite: Turek, M. E., Prasuhn, V., and Holzkämper, A.: Agro-hydrological modeling of soil water retention measures to increase crop system resilience to extreme events, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2919,, 2022.

EGU22-4712 | Presentations | SSS2.4

Trade-offs between soil carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions, and nitrogen leaching losses: addressing knowledge gaps 

Peter Maenhout, Claudia Di Bene, Maria Luz Cayuela, Anton Govednik, Frida Keuper, Sara Mavsar, Rok Mihelic, Adam O'Toole, Ana Schwarzmann, Marjetka Suhadolc, Alina Syp, and Elena Valkama

Carbon sequestration in agricultural soils is an important strategy to mitigate climate change which gained renewed attention in the EU soil strategy for 2030. Stimulation of soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration can be achieved via soil management strategies. However, these strategies may stimulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions such as nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) and cause nitrogen (N) losses via leaching. While these trade-offs can offset the intended climate change mitigation via SOC sequestration, synergistic (positive) effects of certain soil management strategies may positively affect the mitigation potential as well. Despite the major importance of these trade-offs and synergies for the selection of sustainable and climate-proof soil management strategies, knowledge on the understanding of these effects remains limited.

In the Framework of Horizon 2020 – European Joint Programme SOIL, the ∑OMMIT-project aims to investigate the trade-offs and synergies for the most relevant soil management strategies applied in European agricultural systems. A dedicated literature study was made by eight agricultural research institutes across Europe, summarizing the results of reviews, meta-analyses, reports and original articles. The most important soil management strategies were identified and grouped into four categories: tillage management, cropping systems, water management, and fertilization and organic matter (OM) inputs (crop residues, cover crop, livestock manure, slurry, compost, biochar, liming). Search criteria including literature and land use type, time-period, and geographic origin resulted in a unique selection of 110 references (31 reviews, 46 meta-analyses, and 33 original papers). Meta-data, extracted knowledge gaps, research recommendations and main conclusions were compiled in a knowledge gap review which allows for better insight in existing trade-offs and synergies and provides guidance to future research.

This review highlights that the increase of both SOC stock change and the microbial biomass C and N, as well as the reduction in N leaching are positively affected by conservation tillage, crop rotation, permanent cropping, more efficient water management as well as using fertilization and OM inputs (e.g., cover crops, organic amendments, biochar, and liming). The effects on the N2O and CH4 emission mitigation are dependent on the specific soil management strategy (e.g., water management, fertilization and OM inputs) and require more research to allow to define (uniform) conclusions.

In conclusion, more dedicated research is needed for the soil management strategies that simultaneously examines SOC stocks, GHG emissions, and N leaching losses. Furthermore, we identified a lack of information on the impact of pedoclimatic conditions, specifically on the longer-term, on trade-offs and synergies. A more concerted use and installation of new long-term field experiments in different pedo-climatic European regions, seems essential for a comprehensive understanding of the impact of soil management strategies at the European level. Further, since soil management strategies are often combined and their interaction may affect the trade-offs and synergies, the impact of different soil management practices should be assessed simultaneously. Overall, the review provides a unique framework to aid the (re)design of dedicated field experiments and targeted measurements as well as simulations to improve our understanding of the identified knowledge gaps.

How to cite: Maenhout, P., Di Bene, C., Cayuela, M. L., Govednik, A., Keuper, F., Mavsar, S., Mihelic, R., O'Toole, A., Schwarzmann, A., Suhadolc, M., Syp, A., and Valkama, E.: Trade-offs between soil carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions, and nitrogen leaching losses: addressing knowledge gaps, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4712,, 2022.

EGU22-4808 | Presentations | SSS2.4

Post-land abandonment management through shrub clearing practices as a tool for enhancing soil quality and carbon storage. 

Melani Cortijos-López, Pedro Sánchez-Navarrete, Paz Errea, Teodoro Lasanta, and Estela Nadal-Romero

Land abandonment is outstanding as one of the main causes of soil degradation in Mediterranean mid-mountains. This process is closely linked to the rural exodus that took place in the middle of the last century, that led to the activation of natural revegetation mechanisms and massive shrub encroachment. Consequently, several ecosystem disservices have been identified, such as homogenization of landscape, loss of biological and cultural diversity, decrease in water-human-consume resources, reduction of agropastoral resources and higher wildfire risk. However, the effects on soil environment are multiple and controversial. Thus, a case study in the Leza Valley (La Rioja, Spain) has been selected to analyse the effects of post-land abandonment management through shrub clearing practices in soil quality, carbon dynamics and carbon sequestration, in order to give a second chance to these marginalised areas while fighting against Global Change.

For the soil sampling, 5 land uses have been selected: control pasture, 3 shrub clearing sites of different ages; and shrubland after cropland abandonment (6 replicates at different depths, 0-40 cm, have been collected at each study site). Physico-chemical and biological properties of the soil have been analysed in the laboratory, distinguishing between basic and acid soils. Furthermore, a theoretical map of hypothetical future shrub-cleared areas and its potential to sequester carbon has been created.

Preliminary results showed  significant differences between post-land abandonment practices. Time since intervention has resulted a key factor in carbon dynamic evolution, and an increase in carbon storage and concentration with management has been recorded.

To sum up, management through shrub clearing has demonstrated to be an adequate strategy to offset carbon emissions to the atmosphere in soils of abandoned areas in the Mediterranean mid-mountains, offering socio-economic and ecological benefices while becoming an important tool against Global Change.

This research is part of the MANMOUNT project (PID2019-105983RB-100/AEI/ 10.13039/501100011033) funded by the MICINN. Melani Cortijos-López is working with an FPI contract (PRE2020-094509) from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness associated to the ESPAS project.

How to cite: Cortijos-López, M., Sánchez-Navarrete, P., Errea, P., Lasanta, T., and Nadal-Romero, E.: Post-land abandonment management through shrub clearing practices as a tool for enhancing soil quality and carbon storage., EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4808,, 2022.

EGU22-7762 | Presentations | SSS2.4

A large-scale study of the carbon stock of Hungarian forest soils 

András Bidló, Péter Végh, and Adrienn Horváth

Temperate forest ecosystems store significant amounts of organic carbon. Site conditions, species composition, and age of stands largely influenced the amount of stored carbon. International and Hungarian studies have shown that nearly half of the carbon stored in the soil in organic matter forms in forest ecosystems. The main goal was to determine the amount of carbon stored in loess soil. Our preliminary studies have shown that climatic conditions (and the forest composition determined) have a huge effect on the carbon stock of soils. To demonstrate this effect, forest stands on loess bedrock under different climatic conditions were selected for the study. Soil drilling was performed in 40 stands and soil samples were taken by 10 cm layers from 0-110 cm depth. In addition to the soil samples, we also determined the litter mass and composition of the forest stand.
Results showed that the loess soil was leached under the forest stands, so its pH was 5.8 on average (min: 3.9; max.: 8.5). Only deeper levels contained 13% CaCO3 (min: 1.1%; max.: 37%) in the profiles. The texture of the soils was loam or clayey loam with good water holding capacity; therefore, the soil types were Luvisol and Cambisol soils. The average amount of carbon stored in the soils was 1.04 % (min.: 0.02%; max.: 7.3%)  In the future, we will try to clarify the relationship between soil organic carbon stocks and weather conditions.

Project no. 141603 has been implemented with the support provided by the Ministry of Innovation and Technology of Hungary from the National Research, Development and Innovation Fund, financed under the MEC_R_21 funding scheme.

How to cite: Bidló, A., Végh, P., and Horváth, A.: A large-scale study of the carbon stock of Hungarian forest soils, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7762,, 2022.

EGU22-8643 | Presentations | SSS2.4

The potential of adaptive drainage to control salinization in Polder context 

Ali Mehmandoost Kotlar, Bert Everaer, Guillaume Blanchy, Dominique Huits, and Sarah Garré

The past dry summers of 2018, 2019 and 2020 have indicated the sensitivity of Flemish agriculture to drought. In the Flemish polders, this resulted not only in crop water stress, but also in increasing soil and water salinity levels due to the high evaporative demand and the occurrence of salt water lenses in the subsurface. Due to the increasing occurrence of weather extremes as a consequence of climate change, farmers will need to deal with both too little and too much freshwater in the future. Compared to conventional drainage systems, adaptive drainage can secure food production and lower the irrigation need by only draining water when it is strictly necessary and thereby leaving more opportunities for water retention and groundwater recharge.  

In the project OP-PEIL, we will investigate the impact of adaptive drainage on water fluxes and availability, water quality as well as on the cropping system itself (crop growth, disease pressure, yield and quality) during 3 years. We will use geophysical techniques to monitor the impact of adaptive drainage on the fresh/salt water interface in the drained field, as well as in the nearby landscape. Finally, we will set up numerical experiments using water balance models (e.g. SWAP- WOFOST and DRAINMOD) and the available historical climate, field management, and soil hydraulic properties data will be performed to evaluate more extensive climatological scenarios. By the end, this four-year project will raise awareness of farmers and stakeholders about the impact of adaptive drainage on agricultural practices in the Flemish Polders in Belgium.  


How to cite: Mehmandoost Kotlar, A., Everaer, B., Blanchy, G., Huits, D., and Garré, S.: The potential of adaptive drainage to control salinization in Polder context, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-8643,, 2022.

EGU22-8874 | Presentations | SSS2.4

Agricultural Management and Soil Carbon Sequestration: the potential of APSIM model to support climate change mitigation 

Carla S.S. Ferreira, Zahra Kalantari, Nicolas Martin, Guillermo Marcillo, Pan Zhao, Jing Wu, and Naira Hovakimyan

Leveraging soil carbon sequestration in croplands can support climate change mitigation; however, it is challenging to develop optimal management practices to maximize both sequestered carbon and crop yield. In intelligent agricultural management systems, large-scale crop models can provide an understanding of the complex soil-water-plant-atmosphere interactions and allow the evaluation of the effects of various management practices on carbon sequestration. This study aims to investigate soil carbon dynamics in maize cropland under different management practices, and discuss their potential to leverage the carbon sink capacity of agricultural soils. The Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator (APSIM) is used to investigate soil carbon dynamics in maize cropland of Baixo Mondego, an agricultural region in central mainland Portugal, under Mediterranean climate. The model was set up using soil properties retrieved from the INFOSOIL national database and run with daily climate data from 2001 to 2020 provided by local weather stations (i.e., solar radiation, maximum and minimum temperature, and rainfall). The maize yields’ records from an agricultural farm were used for model calibration (2017 - 2019) and validation (2020 - 2021). The model was then used to investigate the impact of different scenarios focusing on distinct fertilization management practices (i.e. fertilization rates, timing, and type of fertilizer) on soil carbon and crop yields. This study is part of a larger research project funded by C3.AI Digital Transformation Institute to develop an intelligent agricultural management system using deep reinforcement learning (RL) for agriculture sustainability and climate change mitigation. This project has great potential for impact on climate change and food security, two of the most significant challenges currently facing humanity.

How to cite: S.S. Ferreira, C., Kalantari, Z., Martin, N., Marcillo, G., Zhao, P., Wu, J., and Hovakimyan, N.: Agricultural Management and Soil Carbon Sequestration: the potential of APSIM model to support climate change mitigation, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-8874,, 2022.

Over‑reliance and indiscriminate use of mineral fertilisers have contributed towards declining soil health. Further, mineral fertiliser production contributes close to 1% of UK’s greenhouse gas emissions. Organo-mineral fertilisers (OMFs) are currently being investigated as a more environmentally sustainable alternative to conventional mineral fertilisers as they reduce the amount of mineral fertilisers needed by combining them with organic materials that would otherwise be destined for landfill or incineration, promoting a circular economy by returning recycled nutrients to the soil. Here, we evaluated the efficacy of a novel OMF that incorporates carbon captured from gaseous point sources into their production. This product demonstrates a potential tool for combating both climate change and soil fertility by promoting soil carbon sequestration. To assess the efficacy of these new fertilisers we conducted a field experiment consisting of three batches of OMF (5, 10 and 15%N) and compared them to a conventional mineral fertiliser and an unfertilised control in two soil types with two crops (winter barley and winter wheat).

We found that all fertilisers produced significantly more yield than the control (p < 0.05) but that there was no significant or consistent difference between the fertilisers. There was no significant or consistent differences between the stimulated root growth for any treatments (p = 0.60) and the same for organic matter, microbial biomass, pH, available nutrients (N, P, K), total nutrients (N, C, P), and metals. This leads to the conclusion that organo-mineral fertilisers can perform at least as well as conventional fertiliser. Though more seasons are needed to evaluate the benefits to the soil.

How to cite: Burak, E. and Sakrabani, R.: Evaluating the efficacy of novel green fertilisers derived from combining carbon capture technology and organic waste materials , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9258,, 2022.

EGU22-9822 | Presentations | SSS2.4

The technogenic factor of PAH accumulation in floodplain soils of the Don River Delta 

Tamara Dudnikova, Andrey Barbashev, Svetlana Sushkova, Elena Antonenko, Irina Deryabkina, Evgenyi Shuvaev, Gulnora Bakoeva, Hadeer Elgendy, Jawaria Johar, Dmitryi Bren, Alexandr Yakovlenko, and Tatiana Maltseva

The Don River Delta is a unique natural structure that performs an important ecological function as a spawning ground for endangered fish species. Shipping is a source of carcinogens of the group of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), including benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) - substances of the 1st hazard class. The maximum permissible concentration (MPC) of BaP in the soil is 20 μg / kg. The accumulation of PAHs in the floodplain soils of the delta is especially dangerous since the active washout of pollutants with the soil mass during the flood period (spring) coincides with fish spawning.

The object of the study was saturated alluvial meadow soils. Soil properties vary within the following ranges: pH - 7.3-7.5, organic carbon content - 1.2-2.0%, physical clay - 14.9-19.4%, silt - 4.9-8.9 %. Sampling was carried out to a depth of 0-20 cm. PAHs were extracted from the soil with hexane. Quantitative analysis of PAHs in the extract was carried out using an Agilent 1260 chromatograph. In this work, the content of 16 PAHs included in the list of priority pollutants of the US EPA was determined: naphthalene, anthracene, acenaphthene, acenaphthylene, phenanthrene, fluorene, fluoranthene, pyrene, chrysene, benzo(a)anthracene, BaP, benzo(b)- and benzo(k)fluoranthene, dibenzo(ah)anthracene, benzo(g,h,i)perylene, indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene.

This study presents the main patterns of PAHs accumulation in the floodplain soils of the Don River delta used by the shipping channel. The purpose of the study was to establish the influence of the technogenic factor on the accumulation of PAHs in the floodplain soils of the Don River delta. As a result of the study, it was found that, according to the content of PAHs, the soils form the following row: No. 1 - 400 μg / kg> No. 2 - 1729 μg / kg> No. 3 - 9376 μg / kg. A similar series is observed for the amount of BaP in the soil: No. 1 - 22 μg / kg> No. 2 - 201 μg / kg> No. 3 - 2013 μg / kg, which corresponds to an excess of MPC by 1.1, 18 and 100 times.

Thus, the PAHs content in soils increases downstream of the shipping channel. The maximum technogenic load falls on the soil of the monitoring site No. 3, located in the mixing zone of the waters of the Taganrog Bay and the delta of the Don.

The research was financially supported by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation project on the development of the Young Scientist Laboratory (no. LabNOTs-21-01AB).

How to cite: Dudnikova, T., Barbashev, A., Sushkova, S., Antonenko, E., Deryabkina, I., Shuvaev, E., Bakoeva, G., Elgendy, H., Johar, J., Bren, D., Yakovlenko, A., and Maltseva, T.: The technogenic factor of PAH accumulation in floodplain soils of the Don River Delta, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9822,, 2022.

EGU22-9850 | Presentations | SSS2.4

Seed Biopriming with Trichoderma sp. as an Effective Strategy for the Mitigation of Thermal Stress Effects in Food Crops 

Hadeer Elgendy, Maria Krepakova, Chetan Keswani, Marina Voloshina, Anna Nefedova, Tatiana Minkina, Saglara Mandzhieva, and Svetlana Sushkova

According to the projections of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) the impact of global warming would be detrimental for ensuring food security in the 21st century. High temperature stress in different agro-climatic zones uniformly decreases crop yield, primarily due to shortened life cycle and hastened senescence leading to considerable pre- and post-harvest losses. The only available solution for tacking this challenge includes breeding thermal stress tolerant cultivars with equivalent crop yield potential. Though this strategy has many handicaps, the foremost being huge time investments for generating stable cultivars. Hence, exploring all the possible alternatives is a high priority to ensure sustainable crop production. These results demonstrate the role of seed biopriming with a thermotolerant strain of Trichoderma sp. capable of surviving at 470C for the mitigation of thermal stress effects in tomato. Based on these results it was concluded that Trichoderma mediated reprogramming of oxidative stress markers and defense network to enhance thermal tolerance in tomato. The results of the aforementioned biochemical analysis were cross validated through histochemical and HPLC analysis. In addition, the complex route of plant-microbe interaction under both ambient and stressed conditions were also mapped using 2D gel electrophoresis and hydroponics approach. During this presentation, the fascinating journey beginning from the isolation, characterization, and identification of this thermotolerant strain of Trichoderma sp. to its formulation development will be discussed in detail.  

Acknowledgements: The research was financially supported by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation project on the development of the Young Scientist Laboratory (no. LabNOTs-21-01AB).

How to cite: Elgendy, H., Krepakova, M., Keswani, C., Voloshina, M., Nefedova, A., Minkina, T., Mandzhieva, S., and Sushkova, S.: Seed Biopriming with Trichoderma sp. as an Effective Strategy for the Mitigation of Thermal Stress Effects in Food Crops, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9850,, 2022.

EGU22-9941 | Presentations | SSS2.4

Biogeosystem Technique transcendental intra-soil pulse continuous-discrete watering paradigm for soil organic matter sustainable regime and heavy metal passivation 

Gulnora Bakoeva, Valery Kalinitchenko, Alexey Glinushkin, Anatoly Kislov, Tatiana Minkina, Svetlana Sushkova, Saglara Mandzhieva, Nikolai Budynkov, Peter Mukovoz, Geogiy Larin, Artem Rykhlik, Elena Fedorenko, and Elena Grishina

Water regime determines the soil organic matter (SOM) content and dynamics and heavy metals (HM) availability for plants. Uncertainty natural hydrological regime is a consequence of combination of a phase of water supplying to the soil and a phase of water spreading into the soil, which causes biosphere diversity. Current gravitational frontal continually-isotropic irrigation paradigm stipulates huge consumption of the world freshwater reserves. Around 95% of this water uncontrollably spreads in landscape in result of natural hydrological regime simulation. This paradigm causes unsustainable soil organic matter regime and heavy metals uncontrolled penetration of HM into plant roots and then into trophic chains.

Improved biogeochemical cycle, including SOM and HM regime, is possible in the framework of Biogeosystem Technique (BGT*) transcendental methodology. An origin of the developed BGT* soil watering paradigm is an intra-soil pulse continuous-discrete water supply into the soil continuum, fulfilled sequentially. Discrete volume of water is supplied via syringe to the vertical cylinder of soil preliminary watering at a depth of 10 to 30 cm, diameter is of 1–2 cm. Within 5–10 min after injection, the water spreads from this cylinder of preliminary watering into surrounding soil via capillary, film and vapor transfer. Some amount of water is partially transferred gravitationally to a depth of 35–40 cm. The resulting soil watering cylinder is at a depth of 5–50 cm, its diameter is of 3–4 cm. Lateral distance between next injections along the plant raw is about 10–15 cm. The non-watered soil carcass surrounding the wetted cylinder remains relatively dry and mechanically stable. After injection, the structure of soil in the wetted cylinder restores quickly without compression from the stable adjoining volume of soil, and the soil structure memory remain functional. The mean matric potential of the soil solution is 0.2 MPa. At this potential, a leaf stomatal apparatus operates in regulation mode. Relatively high concentration of soil solution provides an increased rate of plant supply with nutrients. Transpiration rate reduced compared to the natural water regime or standard irrigation. Evaporation from soil surface is small as well. Soil solution seepage to vadose zone is excluded. Fresh water saving is up to 20 times.

BGT* soil watering paradigm reduces rate of intra-soil mass transfer, and uncontrolled lateral water redistribution to landscape. In its turn, this reduces SOM leaching from soil and improves conditions for the SOM priority synthesis, providing humic substances function, soil structuring, intra-soil reversible C sequestration, improved plant supply with fresh nutrients, better plant organogenesis, and soil biological productivity. Intra-soil application of plant protection preparation is possible.

Rather low matric potential insures higher ionic strength of soil solution. Corresponding manifestations of ion association and carbonate calcium equilibrium in soil solution provide association of HM with macro-ions PbCO30, (PbCO3)20, PbHCO3+, PbSO40 PbCl+, PbOH+, Pb(OH)20, CdCO30, CdHCO3, CdSO4 CdSO40, CdCl+, CdOH+ and other, and consequent irreversible passivation of HM via complexation in soil mineral-organic system.

The research was supported by the Strategic Academic Leadership Program of the Southern Federal University ("Priority 2030").

How to cite: Bakoeva, G., Kalinitchenko, V., Glinushkin, A., Kislov, A., Minkina, T., Sushkova, S., Mandzhieva, S., Budynkov, N., Mukovoz, P., Larin, G., Rykhlik, A., Fedorenko, E., and Grishina, E.: Biogeosystem Technique transcendental intra-soil pulse continuous-discrete watering paradigm for soil organic matter sustainable regime and heavy metal passivation, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9941,, 2022.

EGU22-9961 | Presentations | SSS2.4

New approach to soil health management and air quality: One Earth One Life 

Elena Fedorenko, Alexey Glinushkin, Valery Kalinitchenko, Alexander Swidsinski, Valery Meshalkin, Sergey Gudkov, Tatiana Minkina, Vladimir Chernenko, Vishnu Rajput, Saglara Mandzhieva, Svetlana Sushkova, Alexander Kashcheev, and Tamara P. Aysuvakova

The air pollution with fine particulate matter (PM) of dimension 2.5 µm or less (PM2.5) causes lung and other diseases. The problem of prevention of water and terrestrial systems pollution with PM dry deposits is multifaceted. The ionized O2 is capable to intensify the atmosphere turbulence, PM2.5 сoalescence, and increasing the PM dry deposition velocity. Unfortunately, outdated environmental technologies are incapable to secure this. The quality of air is linked to the pedosphere and plant kingdom. Addressing the problem of environmental quality, including the PM2.5 content reduction in the atmosphere, the Biogeosystem Technique (BGT*) transcendental (nonstandard and not a direct imitation of Nature) methodology has been developed. The BGT* focus is an enrichment of the Earth's biogeochemical cycle. The heuristic approach to land use and air cleaning is a new niche for development to improve the soil system and ensure a high rate of air cleaning. BGT* ingredients are the intra-soil processing, which provides the soil multilevel architecture; intra-soil pulse continuously discrete watering for optimal soil water regime and freshwater saving up to 10-20 times; intra-soil dispersed environmentally safe recycling of the PM sediments and other pollutants; controlled microbial community and biofilm-mediated interactions in the soil. BGT* enriches the biogeochemical cycle, provides a better function of the humic substances, biological preparation and microbial biofilms as a soil-biological starter, priority plant and trees nutrition. BGT* methodology is capable to increase plant resistance to phytopathogens. BGT* provides the formation of higher underground and aboveground biological products, thus increasing reversible C biological sequestration from the atmosphere in the form of additional aboveground biomass and soil organic matter. BGT* provides a higher rate photosynthetic production of light O2 ions, a coalescence of PM2.5, PM0.1 to the PM10 and larger particles, sedimentation of the PM, and a soil transformation of PM sediments into the nutrients. BGT* allows sustainability of the biosphere, enables a high quality of the atmosphere, stabilizes the climate system of the Earth, and is capable to promote a green circular economy.

The research was supported by the Strategic Academic Leadership Program of the Southern Federal University ("Priority 2030").

How to cite: Fedorenko, E., Glinushkin, A., Kalinitchenko, V., Swidsinski, A., Meshalkin, V., Gudkov, S., Minkina, T., Chernenko, V., Rajput, V., Mandzhieva, S., Sushkova, S., Kashcheev, A., and Aysuvakova, T. P.: New approach to soil health management and air quality: One Earth One Life, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9961,, 2022.

As previously foreseen, it seems like climate change effects have begun to take their toll on the environment globally, but especially in the Eastern Mediterranean-Middle East (EMME) region where a hot climate already prevails. Some of these effects include higher temperatures during summer season, greater heat stress, longer summers, lower soil moisture, greater water scarcity, more intense rainstorms, longer duration between rainstorms, reduced air quality due to greater pollution and more. Rainfall temperature is also a variable that potentially will be affected by changes in climate regime.

These alterations in climate regime might play an even greater role in soil erosion which has already become a concern on a global scale due to its impairing effects on human activity. Although, soil erosion variables have been studied extensively on various levels, very little has been researched on the effects of rainfall temperature on the soil. A few years ago, comparative research with a laboratory rainfall simulator was conducted on two soils, a clayey soil and loamy soil from Israel, in dry and wet conditions, under different rainfall temperature regimes. The researchers concluded that rainfall temperature has an impressionable effect on runoff and soil erosion that must not be ignored, and which is more pronounced in the clayey soil. Recently, and in accordance with these findings, follow-up research was conducted on two pre-wetted clayey soils, 43% and 64% clay content, respectively. The Terra Rosa soils were chosen from different locations in Israel and are similar to each other in salt concentration, organic matter content and land use (plots between olive trees in an olive grove), yet are different from one another in clay content, and possibly in clay-mineral type as well. The soils were pre-wetted and allowed to drain to field capacity state, and then were exposed to 21 mm/hr rainfall events at 3 different temperatures: 2, 20 and 35 degrees Celsius, respectively. Runoff and soil samples were collected throughout the experiments. Temperature was monitored at water tank, nozzle, soil surface and soil subsurface with thermocouples and a thermal camera. Each experiment was repeated 4 times on 2 different soils with 3 different temperatures, rendering a total of 24 experiments.

In this presentation, I will demonstrate our theory for the potential of rainfall temperature as an important variable on soil erosion and will present our initial findings based on our recent experiments.

How to cite: Shkedi, D., Sachs, E., and Pariente, S.: Effect of rainfall temperature on the erosion of clayey soils different in clay amount: experiments with a laboratory rainfall simulator, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-10427,, 2022.

EGU22-11432 | Presentations | SSS2.4 | Highlight

Healthy soils, a fresh start. 

Diana Vieira, Anna Muntwyler, Anne Marechal, Alberto Orgiazzi, Arwyn Jones, Calogero Schillaci, Constantin Ciupagea, Daniele Belitrandi, Daniela de Medici, Daniele de Rosa, Francis Matthews, Juan Martin Jimenez, Julia Koeninger, Leonidas Liakos, Luca Montanarella, Maeva Labouyrie, Marc Van Liedekerke, Panos Panagos, Piotr Wojda, and Simone Scarpa

Lately, there has been a lot of discussion on soil terminology, perhaps because policymakers have recognized the need to use soil as an ally tackling future climate demands, but mostly because this recognition will likely be translated from the EU Soil Strategy into a new soil health law for the EU. Such an initiative for soil is tightly connected to the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, the Climate Adaptation Strategy, the UN 15.3 Goal for Land Degradation Neutrality, and other environmentally-related policy initiatives (Figure 1) stemming from the European Green Deal and from the UN Sustainable Development Goals.


Figure 1. Links between EU Soil Strategy and other EU initiatives. Source: European Commission, 2021.


At the end of 2021 the European Commission launched the EU soil strategy for 2030, giving the first step towards a consolidated understanding of what a healthy soil means, “(…) when they are in good chemical, biological and physical condition, and thus able to continuously provide as many of the following ecosystem services as possible (…)”. This definition is therefore expected to be translated into a collection and combination of various soil parameters and associated dynamic thresholds (in time and space). Allowing thus the determination of the spatial extent of healthy - and unhealthy - soils, being likely used to assess the EU progress towards the objectives set.

On top of the importance of such initiatives for our future, this is also a great opportunity for researchers and policymakers to understand i) where we stand in terms of major soil threats, ii) what the major current knowledge gaps for EU soils are, iii) and which are the areas at higher risk for land degradation that then require further restoration actions. The problem seems complex from a diversified European perspective, due to the policy landscape, [the lack of] harmonized data availability, as well as local and regional differences. Nevertheless, the EU needs to start building on the current environmental acquis.

The aim of this work is to present the current status of the EU soils making extensive use of the latest LUCAS soil monitoring campaigns and to identify and discuss with the scientific community the identification of key-thresholds for identified parameters, which will likely determine future land and soil management actions towards a healthy soil.

How to cite: Vieira, D., Muntwyler, A., Marechal, A., Orgiazzi, A., Jones, A., Schillaci, C., Ciupagea, C., Belitrandi, D., de Medici, D., de Rosa, D., Matthews, F., Martin Jimenez, J., Koeninger, J., Liakos, L., Montanarella, L., Labouyrie, M., Van Liedekerke, M., Panagos, P., Wojda, P., and Scarpa, S.: Healthy soils, a fresh start., EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-11432,, 2022.

Soils are by definition important carbon sinks, in particular for non-tropical types of climates, an important part of carbon in ecosystems are located on them. Under climate change, those carbon sinks are placed under stress due to often-subtle changes that modify the conditions for their function and rend them particularly vulnerable to dereliction, reducing the capacity to act as carbon sinks at the long term.

In agricultural soils, the intensification of cropping systems and the reduced addition of organic matter results in a sharp reduction of soils’ organic content, with important impacts on soil functioning, namely in what concerns water and nutrient cycles, which will reduce soil fertility and carbon content on the long run. This will transfer slowly but steadily soil’s organic carbon to the atmosphere, reinforcing climate change.

Forest soils suffer an even more catastrophic impact from climate change, since the regions more vulnerable have a higher frequency and intensity of the big eraser, when the forest systems fail to be in equilibrium with the climate: forest files. They are responsible altogether by the emissions of various compounds to the atmosphere, comparable to the anthropic emissions in a bad forest fire year. The soils derelict by fire lose an important part of environmental services they provide, namely suffer a significant reduction of their capacity to sink carbon. This adds to the instantaneous loss of carbon to the atmosphere during the fire and downstream to aquatic ecosystems thereafter.

We explore methodologies to reduce those losses in wet Mediterranean areas, aiming to increase the carbon sinks to reduce the atmospheric concentrations.

How to cite: Ferreira, A.: Soil and climate interactions in the Mediterranean. Are we heading for disaster?, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-13285,, 2022.

Soil carbon sequestration in croplands has tremendous potential to help mitigate climate change; however, it is challenging to develop the optimal management practices for maximization of the sequestered carbon as well as the crop yield. We aim to develop an intelligent agricultural management system using deep reinforcement learning (RL) and large-scale soil and crop simulations. To achieve this, we build a simulator to model and simulate the complex soil-water-plant-atmosphere interaction, which will run on high-performance computing platforms. Massive simulations using such platforms allow the evaluation of the effects of various management practices under different weather and soil conditions in a timely and cost effective manner. By formulating the management decision as an RL problem, we can leverage the state-of-the-art algorithms to train management policies through extensive interactions with the simulated environment. The trained policies are expected to maximize the stored organic carbon while maximizing the crop yield in the presence of uncertain weather conditions. The whole system is tested using data of soil and crops in both mid-west of the United States and the central region of Portugal. Our study has great potential for impact on climate change and food security, two of the most significant challenges currently facing humanity.

How to cite: Kalantari, Z.: Optimization of Agricultural Management for Soil Carbon Sequestration UsingDeep Reinforcement Learning and Large-Scale Simulations, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-13307,, 2022.

EGU22-13528 | Presentations | SSS2.4

Cover crops as a method of enhancing soil moisture and nutrient retention on arable farmland 

Robert Thomas, Joshua Ahmed, and Joshua Johnson

Flooding affects >300 million people each year and causes loss of life, damage to infrastructure, and long-term mental and physical health problems. Across many parts of the globe, climate change is projected to increase the magnitude, frequency, and intensity of rainfall events, thus exacerbating future flood risk and increasing the demand for flood alleviation schemes. Agricultural land covers 39% of Europe, and as such intercepts a significant fraction of precipitation. Agricultural intensification has increased soil compaction and decreased soil porosity and permeability, thus decreasing infiltration, storage and groundwater recharge. Here, we report on experiments that aim to constrain the effects of using cover crops to increase soil porosity and permeability and hence decrease runoff during rainfall events in three arable fields in East Yorkshire, UK.

Half of each field was treated with a cover crop between harvest and winter cultivation, and the organic matter of this crop was incorporated into the soil. The second half of each field was used as a control. A suite of methodologies is being used to assess the long-term influence of this extra organic matter content on soil structure, health and permeability:

  • An array of soil moisture loggers (Delta-T PR2/4, DalesLandNet MKII, GroPoint Profile 2625-N-T-4) was deployed in each field to provide long term soil moisture data at high temporal resolution;
  • Roaming soil moisture measurements (Campbell Scientific HydroSense II) were used to increase spatial coverage and resolution;
  • Laboratory measurements of soil density, ambient soil moisture content, porosity, permeability, and nutrient content (nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium); and
  • A 3D MODFLOW model parameterised with collected data was used to assess the long term impact of increased soil porosity and permeability on rainfall transmission in to surface water drainage systems.

Preliminary results suggest that enhanced organic matter – delivered through cover crops – increases soil nutrient and moisture retention and decreases the peak flow stage in adjacent drainage channels after intense rainfall events. These observations suggest soil restoration may provide an important mechanism for attenuating flood peaks under future climate scenarios.

How to cite: Thomas, R., Ahmed, J., and Johnson, J.: Cover crops as a method of enhancing soil moisture and nutrient retention on arable farmland, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-13528,, 2022.

EGU22-729 | Presentations | NH3.4

Study on Establishing the System of Enterprises’ Participation in Flood Disaster Prevention 

Yi-Ting Li, Guei-Lin Fu, and Cheng Hsiu Tsai

Taiwan has unique geographical characteristics. Located in a subtropical monsoon region, it is plagued annually by exceptional meiyu (East Asian rainy season) in May and June, and numerous typhoons from July to October. This unique climate often brings torrential rains and combined with Taiwan’s steep topography and short rivers, frequently triggers severe floods. Moreover, Taiwan lies at the intersection between the Eurasian Plate and the Philippine Sea Plate and is among the areas with the world’s most frequent felt earthquakes. Natural hazards here can roughly be categorized into four types: earthquake, typhoon, flood, and hillside disasters; manmade disasters include: industrial disasters, residential/commercial fire, road traffic accident, and shipwreck. When disasters strike, they often cause grave impacts and tolls in human lives and properties. In recent years, there has been a rising trend in both their frequency and scale due to rapid urbanization and growing environmental vulnerability.
According to World Bank’s 2005 publication, Natural Disaster Hotspots - A Global Risk Analysis, Taiwan tops the world in the land area simultaneously exposed to three or more natural hazards (73%) and in the population under disasters’ threat (73%). Additionally, there has been an increase in potential hazards such as disease outbreaks and severe public safety accidents. Therefore, when large-scale disasters strike and the impact is beyond what the affected municipalities can or have resources to handle, the key to minimizing death and injuries as well as financial losses becomes how nearby municipalities can offer support, participate rapidly in the emergency response, integrate resources effectively, enhance response effectiveness and prevent the disaster’s spread.
The “Operational Compact for Emergency Management Mutual Aid between Municipality and County Governments” passed in 2005 has now been in effect for four years. Yet, a comprehensive review of recent years’ severe disaster experiences indicates that the chief rescue and relief responsibilities still fall on the central government; the rare implementation of the above Compact by local authorities exposes the inadequacy of the actual system. Thus, this paper examines the literature on relevant ordinances, operating models, and case studies in the American and Japanese regional mutual aid systems to emergency management, in order to offer suggestions for improvement towards a more complete regional mutual aid system, a significant upgrade on municipalities’ disaster response capabilities and effective functional integration and collaboration.

How to cite: Li, Y.-T., Fu, G.-L., and Tsai, C. H.: Study on Establishing the System of Enterprises’ Participation in Flood Disaster Prevention, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-729,, 2022.

In this study, zone of Gundogdu (Rize) located in the Eastern Black Sea Region were examined in terms of landslide susceptibility and its stability analyzes were conducted. The study area is the region with the highest rainfall in Turkey. Heavy rainfall plays a major role in triggering landslides in this region. In this study, the relationship between precipitation and landslide was investigated. In addition, the effect of precipitation on weathering also determined the geological characteristics of the area. First of all, 1/25.000 scale geological map of Gundogdu and its surrounding was provided, the units are listed as Melyat Formation (Middle Eocene) and alluvium (Quaternary) from older to younger. 1/500 scale cross sections were generated for nineteen different landslides happened at Gundogdu in 2010, 2015, 2018, and 2021 years. Then stability analyzes were done with these data. Angle of internal friction (φ), cohesion (c), saturated unit weight, natural unit weight, dry unit weight and submerged unit weight (ϒd, ϒn, ϒk, ϒ'), specific gravity (Gs), porosity (n), saturation degree (SR), void ratio (e) and grain size distribution were determined with laboratory tests of soil samples which were taken to determine the engineering properties of soils located in places which stability calculations would be held. Following the results of these experiments, stability analyzes were done with 4 different methods (The Zero angle of Shearing Resistance Method, Ordinary Method of Slice, Bishop Method of Slices, and Janbu Method) according to the possible sliding surfaces that were plotted from geological section of landslide. As a result of these data, this region poses a great danger specially after rainfall with the effect of weathering. For this purpose, needs to be done for the prevention of landslides have been introduced.

How to cite: Yalcin, A.: Gundogdu (Ri̇ze) landslides and its surrounding slope susceptibility, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-938,, 2022.

EGU22-1241 | Presentations | NH3.4

Study on the Occurrence and Development of Gullies under extreme Rainstorm Conditions 

Lijuan Yang, Chunmei Wang, Chunmei Zhang, Guowei Pang, Yongqing Long, Lei Wang, Baoyuan Liu, and Qinke Yang

 Soil erosion seriously damages land resources, which is a global environmental problem. Gully erosion is an important manifestation of soil erosion, in recent years, frequent extreme rainstorms have aggravated the occurrence and development of gully erosion. In order to study the formation and development patterns of newly formed gullies under the condition of climate change, this paper takes the Wangwugou Small Watershed of the Chabagou Watershed on the Loess Plateau in Northern Shaanxi as the research area, and takes the “7·26” extreme rainstorm in Northern Shaanxi Province in 2017 as the main research object based on UAV images, to analyze the occurrence regularity of newly formed gullies, and discuss its development characteristics, its difference with the development of existing gullies before 2017, and its relationship with topographic parameters in the following three years. The results showed that: (1) during the “7·26” extreme rainstorm in Northern Shaanxi, there were 45 newly formed gullies in the Wangwugou Small Watershed, which are about 101 gully/km2, and they could be divided into four categories: slope surface gullies, terraced field gullies, unpaved roadway gullies and bottom gullies. The slope surface gullies were the largest, and the bottom gullies and terraced field gullies were wider and larger in area. Production roads, check dam farmland and sloping farmland are most prone to the occurring of gullies under rainstorm conditions. (2) In the three years after the formation of the new gullies, the development of the new gully heads was faster than that of the original existing gullies, and 34.48% of the heads of newly formed gully was further advanced, which was 1.32 times of the original existing gullies. The average gully head retreat distance of newly formed gullies is 3 times that of the original existing gullies, which is up to 0.58 m/a, and the maximum speed could reach 2.12 m/a. (3) The increase of the drainage area could significantly promote the development of gully heads, which is an important topographic index to simulate the retreat rate of gully heads. Under extreme rainfall conditions, the soil erosion situation is highly serious in the study area, and the source of newly formed gullies could be traced more rapidly within three years after their occurrence. Therefore, special attention and enhanced management should be attached to the prevention and control of such gullies.

How to cite: Yang, L., Wang, C., Zhang, C., Pang, G., Long, Y., Wang, L., Liu, B., and Yang, Q.: Study on the Occurrence and Development of Gullies under extreme Rainstorm Conditions, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1241,, 2022.

Multivariate logistic regression models are the most popular in estimating landslide susceptibility by assessing various landslide causes—covariates—in mapped landslides or hindcasting landslides by including landslide triggering information such as rainfall. Although the sensitivity of these models to the variety of input data is frequently tested, the influence of data quality on the model accuracy is rarely discussed. For example, accurately representing spatial rainfall variability that triggered landslides may be essential in hindcasting models. Additionally, the properties of the mapped landslides, such as sample size, location, or time, are crucial to set a robust susceptibility model. Using an inventory that predominantly covers larger landslides would hinder a model by broadly covering the diversity of the factors leading to slope instability. Whereas smaller landslides could fail to capture sufficiently the range of values in the covariate space, likely decreasing the model performance. Another aspect is whether the number of mapped landslides is enough to estimate the susceptibility accurately or does more data means a better model. We developed several simple logistic regression models to answer all the above-listed questions relevant to assessing the model sensitivity. The model first demonstrated that global grid rainfall products could not accurately represent spatial rainfall distribution, which has a major influence on a landslide hindcast model. We have further found out that using only part of the individual landslides surprisingly may suffice to make accurate susceptibility estimates. Using smaller landslides in a susceptibility model outperforms a model that relies on larger landslides. Lastly, the model performance marginally varied after progressively adding more landslide data in a pilot study.

How to cite: Ozturk, U.: Role of baseline landslide inventory and grid rainfall precision on the sensitivity of susceptibility or hindcast models, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1284,, 2022.

Due to the impact of climate change, the increasing frequency of extreme rainfall events, with concentrated rainfalls, commonly cause landslide hazard in the mountain areas of Taiwan. Although the extraordinary rainfall behavior is critical for the geohazard, it is significantly affected by the factors such as topography, the route of typhoon, etc. Therefore, there are uncertainties for the predicted rainfall as well as the landslide susceptibilities.

This study employs rainfall frequency analysis together with the atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM) downscaling estimation to understand the temporal rainfall trends, distributions, and intensities in the adopted study area in Central Taiwan. The uncertainties within the rainfall prediction was investigated before applied to the landslide susceptibility analysis. The catchments in Taiwan, including Tachia River, Wu River, and Chuoshui River, were adopted as the study area. To assess the hazard of the landslides, logistic regression methods and supporting vector machines method were applied, in which the control factors were analyzed and discussed. The results of predictive analysis with the consideration of uncertainties can be applied for risk prevention and management in the study area.

How to cite: Shou, K.-J.: Impact of Climate Change on Landslide Susceptibility – for the Case in Taiwan, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2299,, 2022.

EGU22-2507 | Presentations | NH3.4

Impact of multi-temporal landslide inventories on landslide hazard assessment: a case study in the province of Belluno (Veneto Region, NE Italy) 

Silvia Puliero, Sansar Raj Meena, Filippo Catani, and Mario Floris

Frequent and extreme meteorological events can lead to an increase in landslide hazard. A multi-temporal inventory plays an essential role in monitoring slope processes over time and forecasting future evolution. In recent years, the province of Belluno (Veneto Region, NE Italy) was affected by two relevant and intense meteorological phenomena that occurred on October 27-30, 2018 (i.e. windstorm Vaia) and on December 4-6, 2020. Both events were characterized by heavy rainfall of up to 600 mm in 72 hours, triggering widespread landslides throughout the area. The analyses conducted on some local rain gauges in the sectors most affected by each storm show very high return periods (over 100 years) for both events, even though they occurred in a two-year time frame. This study aims to evaluate whether these strong meteorological phenomena are characterized by an increase in their frequency in the province of Belluno and to see what influence they have on slope instabilities, which are important for assessing landslide risk. The rainfall data available since 1950 have been investigated through statistical analysis to achieve these goals. The spatial and temporal evolution of slope instabilities has been examined through remote sensing techniques to compare landslides triggered in 2018 and 2020 with past instability phenomena in the same area. The results show the importance of multi-temporal databases for landslide hazard assessment after extreme meteorological events at the regional scale.

How to cite: Puliero, S., Meena, S. R., Catani, F., and Floris, M.: Impact of multi-temporal landslide inventories on landslide hazard assessment: a case study in the province of Belluno (Veneto Region, NE Italy), EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2507,, 2022.

EGU22-2681 | Presentations | NH3.4

A decrease in rockfall probability associated with changing meteorological conditions in Germany 

Katrin M. Nissen, Uwe Ulbrich, and Bodo Damm

In this study we assess the influence of changes in the relevant meteorological conditions on the probability for rockfall in German low mountain regions. The study is based on data from a rockfall data base for Germany (Rupp and Damm, 2020) and a data set supplied by the Deutsche Bahn (German railway company) covering the periods 1838-2018 and 2015-2020, respectively. 

In a first approach, a logistic regression model for the probability of rockfall at a given location developed by Nissen et al. 2021 was applied to gridded meteorological station observations (RADOLAN and EOBS) ranging from the year 1950 to 2019. The logistic regression model quantifies the influence of daily precipitation, a proxy for pore water and freeze-thaw cycles on rockfall probability. A probability forecast was made for each day and location. The day-to-day variability in rockfall probability at the individual sites is high. Thus, the sign of the trends is site specific, but the majority of sites is showing a negative trend over the 70-year period investigated. The significance of the trends at most sites is below the 95% level. Sites at which the trend is statistically significant almost all show a negative trend, down to -4% per decade in terms of the annual number of days with a higher than climatological hazard. The mean probability decreased by as much as -2.3% per decade. 

The second approach is based on large-scale weather patterns. An analysis identified 3 weather pattern that occur on average at 9% of all days but include  19% of the days on which a rockfall event occurred. The trend in the number of these patterns was determined for the last 40 years. It suggests a decrease by -2.2% per decade and is not statistically significant. 

How to cite: Nissen, K. M., Ulbrich, U., and Damm, B.: A decrease in rockfall probability associated with changing meteorological conditions in Germany, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2681,, 2022.

EGU22-4314 | Presentations | NH3.4

Landslide events in Portugal under future climate change scenarios 

Joana Araújo, Alexandre M. Ramos, Pedro M.M. Soares, Raquel Melo, Sérgio C. Oliveira, and Ricardo M. Trigo

It is expected that landslide events will occur more frequently, throughout the century, as a direct consequence of climate change. The main triggering factor, over Portugal mainland, is extreme precipitation. Thus, the aim of this study relied on the assessment of the projected future changes in the extreme precipitation over Portugal mainland and quantifying the correlation between extreme rainfall events and landslide events through Rainfall Triggering Thresholds (RTT). This methodology was applied for two specific locations within two Portuguese areas of great geomorphological interest.

To evaluate the possible projected changes in the extreme precipitation, we used the Iberia02 dataset and the EURO-CORDEX models’ runs at a 0.11º spatial resolution. First, it was analyzed the models’ performance to simulate extreme values in the precipitation series. The simulated precipitation relied on RCM-GCM models’ runs, from EURO-CORDEX, and a Multimodel ensemble mean. The extreme precipitation assessment relied on the values associated to the highest percentiles, and to the values associated to the RTTs’ percentiles. To evaluate the possible future changes of the precipitation series, both at the most representative percentiles and RTTs’ percentiles, a comparison was made between the simulated values from EURO-CORDEX historical runs (1971-2000) and the simulated values from EURO-CORDEX future runs (2071-2100), considering two emission scenarios: RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5. In the models’ performance, the Multimodel ensemble mean appeared to be within the best representing models. As for the projected changes in the extreme precipitation for the end of the century, when following the RCP 4.5 scenario, most models projected an increase in the extreme values, whereas, when following the RCP 8.5 scenario, most models projected a decrease in the extreme values.  



This work was financed by national funds through FCT–Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, I.P., under the framework of the project BeSafeSlide (PTDC/GES-AMB/30052/2017)

How to cite: Araújo, J., Ramos, A. M., Soares, P. M. M., Melo, R., Oliveira, S. C., and Trigo, R. M.: Landslide events in Portugal under future climate change scenarios, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4314,, 2022.

EGU22-5098 | Presentations | NH3.4

Forecasting and mitigating natural hazards with remote and in-situ monitoring 

Rachael Lau, Carolina Segui, Al Handwerger, Nate Chaney, and Manolis Veveakis

Fast disasters happen slowly. Two of the most notorious “rapid-onset” disasters – earthquakes and landslides – have a common dependency on a single determining parameter known as the Gruntfest number. Deep-seated landslides, seemingly rapid-onset to the naked eye, have historically been monitored with in-situ monitors and borehole sampling to understand conditions within the shear band. These in-situ monitoring techniques, however, are high-cost and labor-intensive. As satellite data and resources expand, remote sensing has become a more cost-effective and realistic option for monitoring gradual ground deformation caused by the creep of a deep-seated landslide. Differential interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR), specifically, can be used to measure displacements on the Earth’s surface with precision to a few centimeters or less. Here we use InSAR and pre-existing borehole data for the Canillo landslide in Andorra to characterize the evolution of temperature and thereby the Gruntfest number from August 2018-December 2021. Our results reinforce the characteristic models for deep-seated landslides in Segui et. al (2020), suggesting that there exists a critical Gruntfest value where the landslide is catastrophically unstable. Given the anticipated increase in extreme climate with climate change, we expect it to become more frequent for landslides to reach this critical Gruntfest value, therefore necessitating a more robust analysis of the evolution of the Gruntfest number and the overall destabilization process for future work.

How to cite: Lau, R., Segui, C., Handwerger, A., Chaney, N., and Veveakis, M.: Forecasting and mitigating natural hazards with remote and in-situ monitoring, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5098,, 2022.

EGU22-7282 | Presentations | NH3.4

Thermo-rock: influence of temperature on rock slope properties 

Ondřej Racek and Jan Blahůt

Thermo-rock: influence of temperature on rock slope properties

Rock slope stability is closely linked with the mechanical properties of the rock slope mass. These properties are influenced by numerous factors including meteorological, thermal and hydrogeological. Even short-term temperature cycles caused by direct sunlight, together with water saturation cycles can change mechanical properties of rock slope surficial zone. To partially quantify these influences, we have carried out short-term experiments at a former quarry test site. Geotechnical instrumentation of partial blocks with crack meters, surface and microcracks deformation monitoring using strain gauges, geophysical ERT monitoring, subsurface temperature and humidity monitoring, and  IR camera surface temperature sensing were used during 24-hour monitoring campaigns. Additionally, surface hardness was repeatedly measured using Schmidthammer. Before and after monitoring campaigns, rock mass samples from different depths were collected, to perform basic geomechanical tests. Using these complex data, the influence of short-term temperature changes on the rock slope surficial layer properties were estimated.

How to cite: Racek, O. and Blahůt, J.: Thermo-rock: influence of temperature on rock slope properties, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7282,, 2022.

EGU22-7465 | Presentations | NH3.4

A severe landslide event in the Alpine foreland under possible future climate and land-use changes 

Douglas Maraun, Raphael Knevels, Aditya N. Mishra, Heimo Truhetz, Emanuele Bevacqua, Herwig Proske, Giuseppe Zappa, Alexander Brenning, Helene Petschko, Armin Schaffer, Philip Leopold, and Bryony L. Puxley

Landslides are a major natural hazard, but uncertainties about their occurrence in a warmer climate are substantial. The relative role of rainfall, soil moisture, and land-use changes and the importance of climate change mitigation are not well understood.  Here, we develop and apply a storyline approach to address these issues, considering a severe event from June 2009 in Austria with some 3000 landslides as showcase. The approach leverages on convection permitting simulations that realistically represent the meteorological event while sampling uncertainties.  Depending on the changes of rainfall and soil moisture, the area affected during a 2009-type event could grow by 45% at 4 K global warming, although a slight reduction is also possible. Such growth could be reduced to less than 10% by limiting global warming according to the Paris agreement. Anticipated land-use changes towards a climate resilient forest would fully compensate for such a limited increase in hazard.

How to cite: Maraun, D., Knevels, R., Mishra, A. N., Truhetz, H., Bevacqua, E., Proske, H., Zappa, G., Brenning, A., Petschko, H., Schaffer, A., Leopold, P., and Puxley, B. L.: A severe landslide event in the Alpine foreland under possible future climate and land-use changes, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7465,, 2022.

EGU22-7549 | Presentations | NH3.4

Thermal pressurization effect on landslide motion. Analysis with material point method. 

Núria Pinyol, Mauricio Alvarado, and Luis Lemus

Landslide motion can be affected by the thermal effects resulting from the dissipation in heat of the frictional work generated in shearing bands. This problem was initially addressed for simple landslide geometries which have to be defined a priori. In this context, these analyses assume the motion of a rigid block and the thermal-hydro-mechanical phenomena were solved at basal shearing bands and their vicinity.

Later on, in order to generalize the analysis and to face more complex geometries and features, governing equations were implemented in the material point framework. This numerical method (MPM) is able to model large strains and displacements thanks to the double discretization of the domain by means of a Eulerian computational mesh and Lagrangian material points. A new approach was proposed to deal with the pathological dependence of the frictional work generation and the computational mesh element size. The methodology consists in the definition of computational embedded joints whose thickness is defined as a material parameter. 

The presentation will show the formulation of the thermal pressurization phenomena in MPM. First, the methodology will be evaluated under triaxial conditions and simple landslide geometries using different mesh sizes.

Real cases are later analyzed and modelled in MPM. The first case refers to an incipient landslide induced by a drawdown. The potential risk of acceleration induced by thermal pressurization is analyzed. The non-accelerated behavior observed in the field is explained combining the frictional heating induced weakening with non-linear velocity dependent frictional hardening. The results show that increments of a few degrees of the frictional angle with slide velocity can counteract the heating induced acceleration. 

The second case discussed is a coseismic landslide whose acceleration and large run-out cannot be justified by means of simple strength law unless imposing an extremely and probably unrealistic strain softening.

How to cite: Pinyol, N., Alvarado, M., and Lemus, L.: Thermal pressurization effect on landslide motion. Analysis with material point method., EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7549,, 2022.

EGU22-8176 | Presentations | NH3.4

Permathawing permafrost 

Unnur Blær A. Bartsch, Guðrún Gísladóttir, and Harpa Grímsdóttir

Permafrost is perennially frozen ground occurring in about 24% of the exposed land surface in the northern hemisphere. The soil categorized as permafrost is named cryosol (or gelisol). Cryosol is widely spread in the Arctic, where it is continuous in the polar regions while in the sub-arctic it is discontinuous or sporadic. Iceland is located on the edge of the Arctic, and therefore permafrost can be found in many regions of the island. In addition, the frost effect is great, due to the unique climate and weather conditions and the high sensitivity of the Icelandic soil (volcanic soil – andosol). Although the distribution of permafrost is widespread it is in many respects dependent on the weather. As the climate warms, as it does now, the permafrost retreats rapidly, causing major changes in the earth’s surface. These changes can be accompanied by various dangers. In Iceland the retreat of permafrost in high mountains has led the top slopes to become unstable, leading to increased risk of landslides and similar hazards. In this project, permafrost in Iceland will be examined, more specifically the areas where permafrost is considered to be thawing and the dangers that accompany that thawing. The research area is by Strandartindur mountain in Seyðisfjörður. On the slope of Strandartindur is a rock glacier, which is in motion, but it is believed that permafrost is hidden in the ground beneath. The area is a well-known landslide area, where the source of landslides high up in Strandartindur is thick sediments that are partly considered permafrost or rock glaciers. Rock glaciers and thawing of permafrost in the vicinity and/or in the glacier threaten settlements in the area, due to landslides. This will be a threefold multidisciplinary project where aspects of natural hazards and society will be tied together; (i) data from soil thermometers and InSAR data will be examined, (ii) discussed and examined how permafrost can be included in monitoring, (iii) and how information on the dangers associated with permafrost can be disseminated to residents and the general public. The project will be useful for monitoring the hazard area at Strandartindur, while also for monitoring comparable areas in the country. It is hoped that the product of this project will be a monitoring research proposal. The result will show how best to measure permafrost, how best to monitor its thawing and how best to provide information to residents and the general public.

How to cite: A. Bartsch, U. B., Gísladóttir, G., and Grímsdóttir, H.: Permathawing permafrost, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-8176,, 2022.

EGU22-8247 | Presentations | NH3.4

Experimental analysis of seasonal processes in shallow landslide in a snowy region through downscaled and in situ observation 

Laura Longoni, Lorenzo Panzeri, Michele Mondani, and Monica Papini

The frequency and intensity of heavy precipitation events increased since the mid-20th century and, considering the climate crisis, it is important also to analyze the effects of processes and events that lead to faster snow mantle melting cycles in mountain areas.

Shallow landslides are induced by extreme hydrological events such as the occurrence of short and intense rainfall or by events of medium intensity but prolonged over time. Such slips involve generally reduced portions of land both in area and in thickness, however, they are dangerous due to the absence of warning signals and the lack of knowledge regarding their possible evolution.

This work deals with the experimental study of these landslides through the laboratory simulations on a small-scale slope, reproduced at the LIMAG Lab - Laboratory of mountain hydraulics and applied geology of the Lecco Campus and in situ seasonal processes observation at a mountain closed basin nearby Champoluc village in Aosta Valley region.

The central objective is to study the evolution of shallow landslides in reduced scale caused by external factor as snowmelt and rainfall and to compare the observations done in laboratory with the ones in situ. In order to investigate the behaviour of shallow landslides in these critical conditions, a series of sensors have been installed on the simulator. This technology includes three modified pressure transmitters for the pore water pressure evaluation which have been accompanied by other support instrumentation consisting of GoPro’s cameras, TDR (Time Domain Reflectometry) and georesistivimeter; all of them provide a cross check of phenomena processes.

Throughout the downscaled simulations with snow cover it was possible to observe several processes. The direct interaction between snow and ground does not favor the infiltration of a large amount of water. The protective role of snow lies in keeping the first film of soil at 0 degrees and loading the soil by decreasing its infiltrative capacity; this no longer occurs when the water melted by the snow flows downstream and begins to infiltrate into uncovered and warmer soils. Without thermal or overload barriers, the water pours into the ground. Therefore, a potential susceptible area can be the subject of different filtering and infiltrative contributions from upstream, saturating quickly and collapsing.

These laboratory experiments are the starting point for the in-situ analyses and provide a comparison with the observations made by means of ad hoc instrumentation set up at the Champoluc station. Highly detailed information is obtained concerning the density and thickness of the snowpack during seasonal processes. These contribute to defining the hydrogeological processes within the terrain, already studied in the laboratory, and to establishing the water balance.

How to cite: Longoni, L., Panzeri, L., Mondani, M., and Papini, M.: Experimental analysis of seasonal processes in shallow landslide in a snowy region through downscaled and in situ observation, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-8247,, 2022.

EGU22-8302 | Presentations | NH3.4

The potential impact of predicted climatic change on future slope stability in Ireland 

Niamh Cullen and Mary Bourke

Globally landslides are triggered by a myriad of singular and complex causes however the response of the Irish landscape to predicted climate changes are unknown. Some limited data suggest that there may be an increasing trend observed in the frequency of landslides in Ireland, clustered around specific high magnitude rainfall events. Whether this trend is associated with a changing climate trend is unclear. None of the several peer reviewed compendiums that include regional landslide studies and climate have a dedicated contribution on Irelands landscape. We provide a summary of the climate of Ireland from Holocene to future modelled predictions. We present a qualitative assessment of the role of Irish climate and climate change on landslides by identifying specific climate aspects which are important for slope instabilities including precipitation receipts, intensity and variability; the tracks of storms and other rain bearing weather systems and temperature changes. We examine published case studies and an inventory of known landscape response to past weather to consider, qualitatively, the likely response of landslides to predicted future climate trends. We also present rainfall data for three recent landslides events in Ireland and identify areas that require further landslide research. Our review finds that climatic factors which are predicted for Ireland, are cited in the published literature as contributors to slope failures in the Irish landscape. Analysis of rainfall data for the three recent slope failures further support this. Our review suggests that Ireland may see an increase in the frequency of landslide occurrence in the future. Although the data suggests that the majority of failures occur in peat, we highlight a paucity of data for coastal slope failures.  

How to cite: Cullen, N. and Bourke, M.: The potential impact of predicted climatic change on future slope stability in Ireland, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-8302,, 2022.

EGU22-8407 | Presentations | NH3.4

Effect of temperature on post-earthquake landsliding near the epicentre of the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake 

Marco Loche, Gianvito Scaringi, Ali P. Yunus, Filippo Catani, Hakan Tanyaş, William Frodella, Xuanmei Fan, and Luigi Lombardo

Geostatistical models of landslide susceptibility do not usually account for thermal data, although these data are widely available, and experiments demonstrate that temperature does influence the mechanical and hydraulic behaviours of soils and rocks via a variety of thermo-hydro-mechanically coupled processes.

We took the epicentral region of the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in China as our study area, for which a rich multi-temporal inventory of landslides is available. We built a landslide susceptibility model using a generalised additive model with a slope-unit partitioning of the area (~500 km2, comprising 42 sub-catchments), and a minimal set of covariates, including the map of peak ground acceleration of the mainshock and Landsat 7 land surface temperature (LST) data retrieved from Google Earth Engine.

We demonstrated that the LST relates to the decay of post-earthquake landslide activity, and in particular that warmer slopes seems to be comparatively more affected by prolonged landsliding. We also verified that LST data provided different insight from that offered by the normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI), by running our model with NDVI maps instead of LST maps. The two input maps showed little collinearity, and the variable effects of the NDVI in the model output showed less complexity compared to those of the LST. This hints at the presence of thermo-mechanical effects in slopes in addition to the known hydrological effects, the latter being associated with changes in evapotranspiration and thus in principle capturable by the NDVI.

Even though studies in other regions, seismic and non-seismic, are necessary, we suggest that thermal data should be used in landslide susceptibility modelling more systematically because they could potentially improve the model results and suggest physically-based relationships influencing slope stability.

How to cite: Loche, M., Scaringi, G., Yunus, A. P., Catani, F., Tanyaş, H., Frodella, W., Fan, X., and Lombardo, L.: Effect of temperature on post-earthquake landsliding near the epicentre of the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-8407,, 2022.

EGU22-8429 | Presentations | NH3.4

Effects of temperature and shearing rate on the residual shear strength of two pure clays 

Gianvito Scaringi and Marco Loche

The residual shear strength is the sole available strength in regular shear zones of landslides after large displacements. While it does not depend on the stress history, it has been shown to depend on the rate of shearing. Various mechanisms have been proposed to explain the shear-rate strengthening and weakening observed, in particular, in soils containing clay minerals. Frictional heating has been shown to be involved in shear weakening under very large shearing rates. However, changes in temperature (imposed as boundary conditions and propagating into the shear zone) also can affect the residual shear strength, even in drained condition, but evidence in the literature is scarce.

Here, we show results of temperature-controlled ring-shear tests on two pure clays (a commercial bentonite, very active, and a commercial kaolin, inactive), conducted under a wide range of shear displacement rates (0.02–45 mm/min) and normal stresses (50–150 kPa) typical of slow to rapid landslides. After attaining the residual shear strength under the chosen stress and displacement-rate conditions at room temperature (20 °C), we increased the temperature of the cell up to 55 °C and kept it constant over a sufficient shearing distance before gradually decreasing it back to the initial value.

We observed a clear effect of temperature on the residual shear strength of the active clay. We evaluated, in particular, a shear strengthening under slow shearing (up to +1.5 %/°C) which turned into a shear weakening under fast shearing (-0.5 %/°C) under any normal stress. We evaluated that the transition between the two behaviours occurred at a shear displacement rate of 0.1–1 mm/min, which is consistent with the range for the onset of shear rate-dependent behaviours. The effect produced by the increase in temperature was shown to be reversible, although in some cases we noticed a net decrease in strength that could be attributed to an improved alignment of the clay platelets resulting from the thermal cycle. Notably, little thermal effects were seen for the inactive clay, suggesting that such effects should originate from changes in physico-chemical forces of interaction at the microstructural level, which are indeed especially relevant in active clays.

Changes in residual shear strength with temperature could be related to changes in landslide activity (particularly for creeping landslides in clay soils) in terms of seasonal/progressive acceleration or deceleration driven by external hydro-meteorological forcing. Furthermore, these changes could also control the potential for runaway motion if a transition from a strengthening to a weakening behaviour occurs. 

How to cite: Scaringi, G. and Loche, M.: Effects of temperature and shearing rate on the residual shear strength of two pure clays, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-8429,, 2022.

EGU22-9678 | Presentations | NH3.4

Multi-site rock slope thermal monitoring: Initial results 

Ondřej Racek, Jan Blahůt, and Filip Hartvich

This presentation is dedicated to a short description of a combined rock slope thermal monitoring system. The newly designed system is affordable and modular, which predisposes it to installation at multiple sites. This system is being used to monitor four different rock slopes in Czechia for a period of up to 3 years. Slopes differ by lithology, structural setting aspect and modes of instability. The monitoring system consists of a climate station, rock mass surface zone thermal monitoring and unstable blocks crackmeter monitoring. Since 2018 we have instrumented 11 blocks, which differ in terms of shape, volume and mode of destabilization. Analyses of crackmeter, thermal and climatic time-series showed influences of weather and temperature cycles on the crackmeter aperture. Consequently, short-term (diurnal) and medium-term (annual) temperature cycles on the rock slope surficial zone were described. Data show high variability linked to the partial blocks geometry and rock slope properties.

How to cite: Racek, O., Blahůt, J., and Hartvich, F.: Multi-site rock slope thermal monitoring: Initial results, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9678,, 2022.

EGU22-10442 | Presentations | NH3.4

Temperature effect on the residual shear strength. 

Luis M. García, Edwin A. Soncco, Núria M. Pinyol, and Antonio Lloret

The available strength on slip surfaces in landslide after a significant displacement and at motion is the residual strength. The residual strength depends on the soil properties including both solid skeleton (mineralogy, particle shape and size, index properties) and pore fluid (chemical and rheological properties). The available strength also depends, as extensively reported in the literature, on several factors that may not remain constant in time and affect the landslide stability and dynamics: applied stress, accumulated displacement and shear strain rate. With a less extensive literature related to, the effect of temperature on the residual strength have been also observed.

This work reports on the results of a large number of ring shear tests under controlled rate and temperature performed on different types of soils. The results are interpreted in terms of the influence of mineralogy, clay content and plasticity on temperature effects on residual strength.

How to cite: García, L. M., Soncco, E. A., Pinyol, N. M., and Lloret, A.: Temperature effect on the residual shear strength., EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-10442,, 2022.

EGU22-11120 | Presentations | NH3.4

Snow melt triggering of shallow landslides under climate change. The case study of Tartano valley, Italian Alps. 

Davide Danilo Chiarelli, Giovanni Martino Bombelli, Daniele Bocchiola, Renzo Rosso, and Maria Cristina Rulli

Shallow landslides (SLs) imply downhill movements of soil, rocks, debris. These typically occur on steep terrains, in mountainous, and hilly areas, representing a major risk for people and infrastructures. Properly mapping of shallow landslides in space and time is fundamental for prediction, forecast, and setting up of countermeasures. However, modelling of shallow landslides is complex, given (very) local nature of the phenomenon. Recently investigation started about the role of snow melt in triggering shallow landslides, displaying increasing evidence of catastrophic events at thaw. Little was done hitherto in modelling snow melt triggered SLs, especially in terms of physically based modeling. Under the umbrella of the recent project MHYCONOS, funded by Fondazione CARIPLO of Italy, we developed a robust, and parameter-wise parsimonious model, able to mimic triggering of SLs accounting for the combined effect of precipitation duration and intensity, and snowmelt at thaw. In our model, when temperature is below 0 °C, precipitation is stored as snowpack on the soil surface, and released later in thaw season. Storage of melting water during springtime increases soil moisture, so creating potential for SLs. The model is demonstratively applied to the Tartano river valley, in the Alps of Lombardia region of Italy. In this region mass movements and flash-floods in the wake of intense storms are common. Currently from our model about 26% of the Tartano valley displays (permanent) unstable conditions, more than 40% of it influenced by soil moisture changes. Conversely, by applying a traditional rainfall-based analysis, only 19% of the basin is predicted as potentially unstable, mainly in fall, when intense rainfall occurs. When including snowmelt as a cause of SLS triggering, one finds anticipation of the (modeled) peak of instability to springtime, during April and May. Forcing the model under 6 different climate change scenarios of IPCC at 2050, and 2100, an increase is expected in temperature (i.e. with rapider snow melt), and extreme precipitation events, further aggravating SLs hazard. Mapping zones prone to instability in space and time under present conditions, and future scenarios, will help to prevent casualties, and damages in the short-term, while providing base for structural mitigation measures in the long term, during periods of potential instability, even at low to medium rainfall rates.

How to cite: Chiarelli, D. D., Bombelli, G. M., Bocchiola, D., Rosso, R., and Rulli, M. C.: Snow melt triggering of shallow landslides under climate change. The case study of Tartano valley, Italian Alps., EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-11120,, 2022.

EGU22-12658 | Presentations | NH3.4

Development of AI Algorithms for landslides prediction (Emilia-Romagna Region, Italy) 

Nicola Dal Seno and Matteo Berti

Landslide risk is one of the most relevant hazard that affects the Emilia-Romagna Region. Almost 80,000 landslides were mapped in the mountainous part, and the percentage of land covered by landslides exceeds in some areas 25%. Although most of the regional landslides are relatively slow, the economic impact is critical: in 2019, 1 million euros was allocated for urgent safety interventions, and it is estimated that at least another 80 would be needed to complete the plan. These numbers place the Emilia-Romagna Region among the areas with the highest landslide risk in the world. The geological characteristics of the Region, combined with the growing exploitation of the territory and the climatic changes underway, are making this problem more and more dramatic. It is now clear that emergency responses are no longer sufficient and that they must be accompanied by prevention actions devoted to mitigate the risk. 

The main objective of this work is to develop Artificial Intelligence models for the prediction of landslides in the Emilia-Romagna Region. The idea is to exploit the data collected by the University of Bologna in the last 15 years, as part of the research activities carried out in collaboration with the Regional Agency for Civil Protection and the Geological Survey of the Emilia-Romagna Region.

Available data consist of time series of rainfall, soil moisture, snow cover and displacement of some active landslides that have occurred in the region in recent years. The displacement data comes from permanent GPS stations, wire strain gauges, and robotic total stations installed in several landslides for emergency purposes. These data show clear relationships between precipitation and rate of movement. However, such relationships are difficult to reproduce using physically-based approaches.

The proposed machine learning approach was applied to the Emilia-Romagna Region of Italy taking advantage of the historical landslide archive, which includes more than 2210 rainfall events  that triggered 2363 landslide, and of the genetic classification algorithm TPOT (Tree-based Pipeline Optimization Tool) with more than 1million combinations of hyperparameters. The results show that landsliding in the study area is strongly related to rainfall event parameters (Precipitation during the event, The day of the event and in which location happened) while antecedent rainfall seems to be less important (Precipitation 30 and 60 days before the rainfall event). The distribution of landslides in the rainfall precipitation - day of the year chart shows that after the dry summer season a rain event of at least 90-100 mm is necessary to trigger a landslide. However, this number decreases as the day of the year increases, and then arrives in spring where many landslides are shown have been triggered with modest rain events (15-30 mm). The algorithm also provided an F1 test result score of 0.825, which means that it can predict a true positive (rainfall event triggers landslide) with a 70% of precision and with 95.5% about true negative (rainfall event do not triggers landslide).

How to cite: Dal Seno, N. and Berti, M.: Development of AI Algorithms for landslides prediction (Emilia-Romagna Region, Italy), EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12658,, 2022.

EGU22-13375 | Presentations | NH3.4

Thermo-hydro-mechanical modeling of clayey geological medium: Theoretical framework and numerical study 

Saeed Tourchi, Antonio Gens, Jean Vaunat, and Gianvito Scaringi

In recent years, interest in argillaceous rocks has increased because they are being considered as potential host geological media for underground repositories of high-level radioactive waste (HLW). The host rock around the repository cells, containing the exothermic waste canisters, will be submitted to various coupled mechanical, hydraulic, and thermal phenomena. For a proper understanding and appropriate modelling of the excavation damaged zone around repository cells at elevated temperatures, the combined effects of those phenomena should be considered in an advanced constitutive model. The thermo-hydro-mechanical (THM) model presented herein is dedicated to non-isothermal unsaturated porous media. The model is developed within the framework of elastoplasticity, which includes features that are relevant for the satisfactory prediction of THM behaviour in argillaceous rocks: anisotropy of strength and stiffness, behaviour nonlinearity and occurrence of plastic strains prior to peak strength, significant softening after peak, time-dependent creep deformations, permeability increase due to damage, and shrinking of the elastic domain and the degradation of stiffness and strength parameters with temperature.

The model was applied to the numerical simulation of a full-scale in situ heating test conducted on Callovo-Oxfordian (COx) claystone, in the Meuse / Haute-Marne Underground Research Laboratory, simulating a heat-emitting, high-level radioactive waste disposal concept. The interpretation of the test was assisted by the performance of a numerical analysis based on a coupled formulation incorporating the relevant THM phenomena. Initial and boundary conditions for analysis, as well as material parameters, were determined from a comprehensive field and laboratory experimental programme. Thermal, hydraulic, and mechanical observations in COx claystone were discussed. The numerical analysis was able to accurately reproduce the behaviour of the experiment.

The performance and analysis of the in situ test have significantly enhanced the understanding of a complex THM problem, and have proved the ability of the theoretical formulation to provide adequate modelling capacities.

How to cite: Tourchi, S., Gens, A., Vaunat, J., and Scaringi, G.: Thermo-hydro-mechanical modeling of clayey geological medium: Theoretical framework and numerical study, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-13375,, 2022.

The study is aimed at verifying the reliability of the ERA5 reanalysis in reproducing histories of soil water fluxes exchanges (in terms of precipitation and evapotranspiration) leading to landslide events that actually occurred in Campania Region (Southern Italy). In the specific, the investigation deals with landslide events affecting pyroclastic covers result of repeated eruptions of Vesuvius and Campi Flegrei over the course of millennia. Indeed, for many events occurred in the last years, it is hard to retrieve continuous and reliable atmospheric data provided by weather stations in the vicinity of the affected slopes. Under such constraints, it could be difficult to identify the weather patterns triggering the events and then how they could vary in a climate change perspective. To deal with these issues, the fifth generation of atmospheric reanalysis made available by European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) can represent a valuable support. ERA5 and its downscaling ERA5land return hourly data with an horizontal resolution of respectively 31km and 9 km over the entire globe. The data are available since Fifties and they are continuously updated with a delay of only 5 days for ERA5 and few months for ERA5land. Well-documented test cases over Campania Region for which long datasets of atmospheric data and details about the landslide events are available, are exploited to assess the capabilities of ERA5 reanalysis in reproducing antecedent and triggering soil water fluxes exchanges histories. Then, strengths and potential gaps are identified and thoroughly explained to permit a reliable adoption of the datasets.

How to cite: Rianna, G. and Reder, A.: Interpreting recent landslide events in Campania Region (Southern Italy) by using innovative approaches, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-13399,, 2022.

EGU22-13409 | Presentations | NH3.4

Climate-driven deterioration of long-life, long-linear geotechnical infrastructure 

Helen Brooks, Ross Stirling, Anthony Blake, Jessica Holmes, Zelong Yu, Arnaud Watlet, James Whiteley, Kevin Briggs, Alister Smith, Paul Hughes, Joe Smethurst, Jonathan Chambers, and Neil Dixon

Long-life, long linear geotechnical assets such as road, rail and flood embankments provide vital transport and flood defence infrastructure. Slope failures can close transport networks and cause delays, or can reduce the protection provided against flood hazards. This creates huge economic cost and can cause a risk to life for those using affected transport networks or resident on the floodplain. Where emergency repair is needed, the estimated cost of this is 10 times that of scheduled maintenance making effective asset management an industry priority (Glendinning et al., 2009).

However, projected climatic changes pose a threat to the stability of these assets. The most recent IPCC report highlighted projected future changes to temperatures and rainfall. These climatic changes alter the natural cycles of wetting and drying experienced by assets, which results in deterioration of asset performance. Deterioration can occur due to a variety of processes, including crack formation and propagation, downslope plastic strain accumulation and geochemical or mineralogical changes. These ultimately influence the strength, stiffness, permeability and water retention of the soil, which can often mean the construction standard of the asset is not maintained (Stirling et al., 2021).

The ACHILLES project aims to improve understanding of how these processes occur and how they may be affected by projected climatic change. Here, we introduce three large-scale field monitoring sites, including a purpose-built trial embankment, flood embankment and highway cutting. These assets are heavily instrumented to measure soil deformation, soil hydrology and local weather conditions, amongst others. Data from these sites are analysed to further understand deterioration processes and inform future design, construction, monitoring and management of these earthworks. We will discuss key insights from this project, including implications for stakeholders.


Glendinning S, Hall J, Manning L (2009) Asset-management strategies for infrastructure embankments. Proc Inst Civ Eng Eng Sustain 162:111–120

Stirling RA, Toll DG, Glendinning S, Helm PR, Yildiz A, Hughes PN, Asquith JD. Weather-driven deterioration processes affecting the performance of embankment slopes. Géotechnique 2021, 71(11), 957-969.

How to cite: Brooks, H., Stirling, R., Blake, A., Holmes, J., Yu, Z., Watlet, A., Whiteley, J., Briggs, K., Smith, A., Hughes, P., Smethurst, J., Chambers, J., and Dixon, N.: Climate-driven deterioration of long-life, long-linear geotechnical infrastructure, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-13409,, 2022.

Abstract: Roots play a major role in reinforcing and stabilizing soil. The pullout mechanical characteristics of soil reinforcement and slope protection of the root systems of dominant shrub species (Pyracantha and Geranium) were estimated by in situ pullout tests in a karst area, in which roots were pulled out from soil to reliably test the pulling force. The F-s curves were multipeak curves with a noticeable main peak and main double peaks. The curves showed a linear increasing trend at the initial stage of drawing and decreased rapidly after reaching the peak. The F-s curves of root systems inserted into rock cracks showed secondary fluctuations in the later stage of drawing, and rock cracks stimulated the tensile efficiency of the root system more effectively. The maximum pulling force had a linear relationship with the increase in soil thickness and a disproportionate increasing trend with the increasing number of broken roots. The displacement of the maximum peak was different between the two tree species and was concentrated at 5-15 cm and 5-25 cm for Pyracantha and Geranium, respectively. The maximum pulling force of Geranium was 1.29 times that of Pyracantha, and the root system of Geranium had strong pullout resistance. These findings can enrich the theoretical knowledge of vegetation slope protection and provide a reference for the selection of soil and water conservation tree species.

How to cite: Ruan, S.: The pullout mechanical properties of shrub root systems in a typical karst area, Southwest China, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-745,, 2022.

EGU22-828 | Presentations | SSS2.8

Assessment of the gully morphology measurement method based on UAV photogrammetry 

Ji Yang, Yifan Dong, and Jiangcheng Huang

How to use a suitable method to accurately measure gully morphology is very important in the study of gully erosion monitoring and development, and the development of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) has made it easy to apply UAV photogrammetry techniques to gully erosion studies. The aim of this study is to evaluate the accuracy of data and the efficiency of data processing by analyzing the errors of different schemes, and to provide suitable plan design ideas for the study of gully by UAV. Gully is the object of study and different flight schemes and Ground Control Point (GCP) placement schemes are used to acquire and process the data, and finally the errors are analyzed by Digital Surface Model (DSM) and orthophoto. Among all the schemes, the one with a flight altitude of 30m, 80%/70% photo overlap and 11 GCPs had the highest accuracy (Mean absolute error of 0.0353m and root mean square error of 0.0525m), but this scheme took more data collection and processing time and was less efficient. The number of GCPs and the placement location also have a significant impact on the accuracy,the position closer to the GCPs has a smaller error,and this study proves that the number of GCPs should not be more than 9 and should be evenly distributed in different parts of the gully.. When the flight altitude is 70m, the overlap is not less than 50%/40%, and the number of control points is 6, both accuracy and measurement efficiency can be taken into account at the same time. In addition, the sources of errors and the distribution locations of checkpoints with high errors were analyzed in four aspects: shadow, slope gradient, slope direction and vegetation. The use of UAVs in gully erosion studies is very convenient to get the later products with centimeter-level accuracy, and based on the results of the study we suggest that the flight altitude and photo overlap can be appropriately reduced when designing the scheme, and the number of GCP can be increased in the areas that need to be focused on and the areas with large elevation changes. At the same time, flight safety, UAV battery power, data collection efficiency and processing efficiency should be considered comprehensively.

How to cite: Yang, J., Dong, Y., and Huang, J.: Assessment of the gully morphology measurement method based on UAV photogrammetry, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-828,, 2022.

EGU22-1248 | Presentations | SSS2.8 | Highlight

Spatial pattern and influencing factors of Slope Length and Steepness Factors (LS) in Qinghai Xizang Plateau 

Endan Li, Qinke Yang, Guowei Pang, Chunmei Wang, Lijuan Yang, and Bingjie Qiao

Topography is the result of geological tectonic movement and land erosion development, which is min factor for slope processes such as surface runoff and soil erosion. At present, there is insufficient research on the spatial pattern and influencing factors of Slope Length and Steepness (LS) factors in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP). Based on the 30m resolution SRTM (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission) digital elevation data, we calculates the Hack profile and area-elevation integral parameters, extracts the slope, slope length and LS factor, and analyze their relationship with the elevation. The results show that: 1) the slope and LS factor are small in the centre area of the plateau, and LS decreases from southeastern to the northwestern. The terrain inside the plateau is flat, surrounded by high mountains, and the slope, slope length and LS value are large in areas with large topographic relief; 2) The Hack profiles of the six main rivers including , etc, in the QTP are convex, and the hypsometric curve  of the rivers is close to convex. The geomorphic evolution of the region is in its youth stage as a whole, indicating that the neotectonics of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is active. This geomorphic feature makes the LS value distributed in Hengduan Mountains, Western Sichuan Plateau, Yarlung Zangbo River Grand Canyon, etc; 3) The overall dominent of LS in the QTP is slope steepness, while in the steep areas on the edge of the plateau is slope length, and the gentle areas centre QTP is slope; 4) The distribution characteristics of LS are consistent with soil erosion types. The extremely steep slope areas are mainly affected by glacier erosion, while the steep slope areas such as Southeast Tibet are greatly affected by water erosion, The transition zone between the plateau surface and marginal mountains is mainly water erosion and freeze-thaw erosion, and in the dry Qiangtang plareau has strong wind erosion The geomorphic and erosive topographic characteristics of the QTP discussed in the paper, will be a theorical base for the extraction of topographic factors in soil erosion and hydrology, and also has implications for research of multispherical interactions in Tibetan Plateau's earth system.

How to cite: Li, E., Yang, Q., Pang, G., Wang, C., Yang, L., and Qiao, B.: Spatial pattern and influencing factors of Slope Length and Steepness Factors (LS) in Qinghai Xizang Plateau, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1248,, 2022.

EGU22-1257 | Presentations | SSS2.8

Effect of wildfire on stemflow velocity of pine 

Yusen Zhang and Lunjiang Wang

Stemflow, as one of the most important elements of forest precipitation redistribution, affects the delivery and spatial distribution of water and nutrient. Although approximately 4% of forests are affected by wildfire worldwide, no study has measured stemflow velocity after forests are affected by wildfire. The aim of this study is to determine (1) whether stemflow velocity changes after wildfire, (2) whether stemflow velocity changes with stem flow rate and height, (3) whether stem surface roughness affects stemflow velocity. In this study, we designed a device to quantify stemflow velocity. Our study revealed that the destructions of bark morphology and biological crust on the stem surface were the main factors affecting the change of stemflow velocity. The wildfire caused an enhanced stemflow velocity by roughly 30% for the burned pine compared to pine that did not affect by the wildfire. The stemflow velocity increased with stemflow rate following a power function. The width of pine bark had a negative linear relationship with stemflow velocity. With the increase in stemflow rate, the difference in stemflow velocity between burnt pine and unburnt pine was not significant. Stemflow velocity did not increase with the height of stemflow starting point increased, probably because increased stemflow energy caused the stemflow to detach from the stem. This study implies stemflow velocity affected the migration rate and spatial distribution of water and nutrient on stems and land surface around the base of tree. The increased stemflow energy is also likely to exacerbate soil erosion. All these can affect the restoration process of forest ecosystems from wildfire.

How to cite: Zhang, Y. and Wang, L.: Effect of wildfire on stemflow velocity of pine, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1257,, 2022.

Gully erosion was one of the key processes of soil erosion in Hengduan mountain region, which belonged to the eastern part of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. This dramatic changes in both horizontal and vertical direction has led to a diversity soil groups within the region. The aims of this study were to investigate the gully distribution and density in different soil zones, and find out the key factors that influenced the susceptibility and intensity of gully erosion of Hengduan mountain area. Totally 2300 investigation quadrats were randomly set with the size of 1 km × 1 km to check whether the occurrence and the density by Google Earth images. The ratio of gully occurrence (GR) was 25.5%, and the average gully density (GD) and gully number (GN) was 2.22 km km-2 and 20.4 of Hengduan mountain area. The annual temperature, vegetation and slope were the key factors that influences the occurrences of gullies in the alpine (>3700 m a.s.l), middle mountain (2000-3700 m a.s.l) and low mountain (<2000 m a.s.l) soil zones, respectively. The intensity of gully erosion showed exponential decreasing relationships with soil property including soil organic matters and silt content, and the average GD in different soil zones showed the same relationships with the R2 higher than 0.7. These results indicating that the distribution of gully erosion were more related to the external environmental factors, and the intensity of gully erosion were determined by soil properties at the regional scales.

How to cite: Dong, Y.: The distribution and intensity of gully erosion in different soil zones of the Hengduan Mountain area, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1947,, 2022.

EGU22-2620 | Presentations | SSS2.8

Slope drivers grain yield in the Yunnan Plateau-Mountain areas 

Yuhong Qin, Li Rong, Xingwu Duan, and Zhijia Gu

The plateau-mountain areas around the globe are at risk of food insecurity because of its high intensity of soil erosion, limitied suitability of land for agriculture and increasing population pressure. Although plant breeding, improved plant-protection techniques, new variety, application of fertilizer promote increases of crop yields, more frequent extremes of climatic events, topography related to soil erosion can lead to progressive instability in crop production. However little consideration is given in relationships between climatic, topographical factors and grain yields in the Plateau-mountain region. In this study, we collected county-level data on the actual grain yield and environmental factors of the 119 counties in Yunnan province over the past 28 years (1985–2012) to explore the controls on grain yield and how they affect grain yields. Our findings showed that actual grain yeild(AGY) increased over time with an inter-annual fluctuation. Spatially, our findings revealed AGY were strongly influenced by slope. Regression analysis also showed that slope gradient could explain 26.29% of the spatial distribution variability of AGY. Redundancy analysis revealed that AGY positively correlated with evaporation, TN90p, TK, and pH whereas negative correlations with Apre, RH, R50, C/N, slope, and aspect. However climatic and topographic factors and soil properties exhibited greater impacts on AGY, compared to extreme climate indices. We also found that TK showed a significantly positive effect on AGY, indicating that counties with higher TK content in soils could produce higher actual grain yield. And R50 and aspect also had an indirect effect on AGY through influencing TK. Thus, the application of K fertilizer in northwestern, northeastern, and southeastern Yunnan province where soil TK was relatively low may be the key to improve grain yield.

How to cite: Qin, Y., Rong, L., Duan, X., and Gu, Z.: Slope drivers grain yield in the Yunnan Plateau-Mountain areas, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2620,, 2022.

EGU22-3290 | Presentations | SSS2.8

Determination of Rill Erodibility and Critical Shear Stress of Saturated Purple Soil Slopes 

Dandan Li, Xiaoyan Chen, Zhen Han, Xiaojie Gu, and Yanhai Li

The hydrological conditions near the soil surface influence the soil erosion process, as determined by the soil erodibility and critical shear stress. The soil erodibility and critical shear stress of saturated purple soil slopes were computed and compared with those of unsaturated purple soil slopes. The detachment capacities computed through the numerical method (NM), modified numerical method (MNM) and analytical method (AM), from rill erosion experiments on saturated purple soil slopes at different flow rates (2, 4, and 8 L min−1) and slope gradients (5, 10, 15, and 20°), were used to comparatively compute the soil erodibility and critical shear stress. The computed soil erodibilities and critical shear stresses were also compared with those of unsaturated purple soil slopes. At the different slope gradients ranging from 5° to 20°, there were no significant differences in the soil erodibilities of the saturated purple soil and also in those of the unsaturated purple soil. The critical shear stresses slightly varied with the slope gradients. The saturated purple soil was relatively significantly more susceptible to erosion. The NM overestimated the soil erodibility of both saturated and unsaturated soils by 31% and underestimated the critical shear stress. The MNM yielded the same soil erodibility and critical shear stress values as the AM. The results of this study supply parameters for modeling rill erosion of saturated purple soil slope.

How to cite: Li, D., Chen, X., Han, Z., Gu, X., and Li, Y.: Determination of Rill Erodibility and Critical Shear Stress of Saturated Purple Soil Slopes, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-3290,, 2022.

The soil-covered Pisha stone area is the core source area of coarse sediment in the Yellow River and has become the focal point of ecological control of the Yellow River Basin. It is thus vital to study the spatial distribution of erosion coupling between geomorphology, vegetation, and water in the soil-covered Pisha stone area. Some valuable research results have been obtained already by using high-definition remote sensing aerial photographs and-high precision data from unmanned aerial vehicles. In particular, the image resolution obtained by unmanned remote sensing reveals small watershed topographic features and the characteristics of vegetation structure. Thus, the use of remote sensing is vital for research involving the spatial distribution of soil erosion in the slopes of the Pisha stone area and the dynamics of the geomorphic spatial structure of the slopes. In addition, the negative correlation between the spatial structure of the vegetation community and the energy dissipation impedance of erosion requires further study. Research into soil erosion in the Pisha stone area thus represents an urgent scientific need whose outcome will directly affect the theoretical foundation of a comprehensive model for treating soil erosion in this area.

How to cite: shen, Z.: Research progress of soil erosion in Pisha stone area of Yellow River, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-3475,, 2022.

Abstract: To explore the adaptable plants soil reinforcement effects in the karst region of southwest China. A horizontal pull friction test was performed on the roots and soil by using a three-year-old shrub Pyracantha, and the friction characteristics of root-soil interface were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy and interference method. The results indicated that :(1) the root system of pyracantha showed two failure modes in the pull-out test: the pull-out friction of root-soil interface increases with the increase of root diameter and vertical load. (2) When gravel content is set at 0, 10%, 30% and 50%, the frictional force between root and soil tends to decrease. (3) There was a positive correlation between root surface roughness and root diameter in diameter range of 1-6mm, with correlation coefficient R =0.995. (4) There is an obvious correlation between root-soil friction and roughness. These results are significant to further explore the mechanical mechanism of plant root-soil interaction, and to strengthen the shallow soil and repair the fragile ecological environment.

Key words: Karst; Pyracantha; Root-soil friction; Roughness

How to cite: Guo, H.: Research on the interaction between roots and soil of adaptable plants pyracantha in the karst region, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4227,, 2022.

EGU22-4391 | Presentations | SSS2.8 | Highlight

Changes in Terrace Structures and Soil Properties in Hani Paddy Terraces after Conversion to Upland Terraces 

Yanbo Li, Ming Wang, Yuanmei Jiao, Li Rong, and Jiangcheng Huang

Terraces are important practice to conserve soil and water in farming systems in mountain areas. Since the mid- 20th century, marginalization of farmland occurred worldwide in mountainous areas. Farmers reduced investment in terraced fields or even abandoned the fields, and induced negative ecological consequences that are widely concerned. Current studies about marginalization of terraces mainly focus on upland terraces. The understandings of the process of marginalization of paddy terraces and their impacts are limited. Hani Paddy Terraces are one of the Globally Important Agriculture Heritage Systems. However, many of the paddy terraces have changed into upland terraces due to lack of water, labor out-migration ect, which hindered the conservation of the heritage. Taking Amengkong River Basin in Yuanyang County in Southwestern China as the case study area, we explored the changes in terrace structure, productivity of top soil (0~20 cm ) and the water holding capacity soil in 0~70 cm depth in Hani Paddy Terraces since conversion to upland terraces fields by 2~14 years. We found that (1) most ridges disappeared after conversion, the surface of fields were generally maintained in flat conditions, risers of terraces collapsed in varying degrees in more than 70% filed parcels. The degree of damages in terraces structures showed a U-shape curve along with time, as the pattern of drained by 2 years> drained by 3~4 years> drained by 10~14 years > drained by 5~9 years;(2)the soil productivity index increased after converted to upland terraces, and showed a trend of decreasing first and then increasing along with increasing years of conversion. (3) The water holding capacity of 0~70 cm soil dramatically decreased after conversion, and increasingly decreased along with increasing years of conversion. The maximum water holding capacity decreased by 9.16%~21.70% and the capillary volume decreased by 12.09%~24.20%,the decreasing of maximum water holding capacity and capillary volume were most serious in soils of 0~30 cm depth. Our study revealed the impacts of draining on structure of terraces and soil property in Hani Paddy terraces. The findings could enhance the understanding of the biophysical changes in soil during the marginalization in paddy terraces, which would benefit to the conservation and restoration of paddy terraces. 

How to cite: Li, Y., Wang, M., Jiao, Y., Rong, L., and Huang, J.: Changes in Terrace Structures and Soil Properties in Hani Paddy Terraces after Conversion to Upland Terraces, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4391,, 2022.

EGU22-4557 | Presentations | SSS2.8 | Highlight

Soil creep and leakage process in shallow fissures on a karst slope based on particle composition analysis 

Longpei Cen, Xudong Peng, and Quanhou Dai

Rocky desertification has become one of the global ecological environmental problems. Karst rocky desertification area of southwest China is suffering from ecosystem degradation, and the combination of water and soil resources determines the stability of their ecosystems. In recent years, soil leakage has attracted attention because it was that under the development of carbonate shallow fissures, the water and soil along the such pipes as shallow fissures leaks underground, resulting in the allocation of soil and water underground, affecting the integrity of the overlying ecosystem. This study aimed to reveal the leakage loss process, characteristic and mechanism of soil in fissures on sloping lands in the karst area, taking fissures on sloping lands in karst plateau of Guizhou province as the research object, combined with the methods of paint marking and soil particle analysis was conducted to study the leakage loss process of soils in fissures. The result showed that rainstorm or downpour is the key factor of soil fissure leakage loss, and its leakage form is mainly soil creep. Soil creep displacements of different fissure at 104.5 mm rainfall event between 1.0 cm and 2.5 cm, accounting for more than 62.5% of the displacement at 332.7 mm rainfall event, while the soil creep displacement of fissures just range from 0.2 cm to 0.3 cm at the larger rainfall of 181.5; the particle content with different particle sizes in rock-soil interfaces and soils of six fissures selected under 3 precipitation events (104.5, 151.2 and 332.7 mm) showed that the fissure soil does not leak down uniformly, but some particles at the soil layers or rock-soil interfaces leak to the lower layer at random in the process of creep leakage loss. In other words, the occurrence of soil layers and particles are accidental, and the soil particles in the rock-soil interfaces and the soil layers of fissures have the possibility to leak down. Facts proved that the soil creep leakage loss in fissures is a complex process which is determined by the internal factors such as fissure structure, fillings characteristics and bottom connectivity, and such external factors as rainfall etc.
Key words: underground leakage loss; soil; karst fissure; sloping land; karst plateau

How to cite: Cen, L., Peng, X., and Dai, Q.: Soil creep and leakage process in shallow fissures on a karst slope based on particle composition analysis, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4557,, 2022.

Plant litter incorporation into soil is a widespread phenomenon in the natural environment. Accurate estimation of the soil detachment capacity ( Dc ) driven by overland flow under litter incorporation effects is crucial for improving soil erosion prediction. However, the effects of litter incorporation on soil detachment processes are often ignored, and the temporal variation of Dc under litter incorporation effects remains unclear for the Loess Plateau of China. In this study, we conducted flume tests to determine the temporal variation of Dc for soils incorporating two typical plant litters ( Bothriochloa ischaemum (L.) Keng. litter, and Artemisia sacrorum Ledeb. litter) between May 2017 and October 2018 (a 524-day period). Furthermore, the key factors
affecting Dc were identified. Our results showed that the temporal variation in Dc was consistent across the different soil treatments (two litter incorporation treatments and one bare soil control), showing a rapid decline and then fluctuating at a low level, with Dc ranging from 0.115 to 6.876 kg m−2 s−1 . Incorporation of litter effectively reduced Dc , with the Dc of soil treatments incorporating litter being 15% to 29% lower than that of bare soil (2.110 kg m−2 s−1 ). Further analysis showed that the temporal variation in Dc was mainly affected by the development of a physical soil crust. Dc can be successfully estimated using a nonlinear equation incorporating flow shear stress and soil cohesion (R2 = 0.77, NSE = 0.65), which represent the erosive force and soil erosion resistance, respectively. Our study reveals the important role of plant litter in the soil detachment process and aids the understanding of soil erosion pathways. Further studies are needed to investigate the effects of a physical soil crust on the soil detachment process driven by overland flow.

How to cite: Liu, J.: Effects of Litter Incorporation on Soil Detachment Processes on the Loess Plateau of China, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4625,, 2022.

EGU22-4927 | Presentations | SSS2.8

Evapotranspiration process under typical herb cover after wildfire 

Kemin Liu and Lunjiang Wang

Soil moisture is a key factor limiting vegetation succession in karst ecosystem. Wildfire changes soil physical and chemical properties, which likely affect evapotranspiration of post-wildfire plant recovery. However, merely studies have been performed to elucidate the evapotranspiration processes and the controlling factors. In this experiment, two typical herbaceous plants (Compositae Artemisia and Gramineae Saccharum) in karst areas were selected for pot experiment. The treatment without plant was used as the control. Combustions were laboratorially carried out with different severity (light, moderate, and high) to simulate different intensities of wildfire disturbance. During the experiments, the mass change in each pot was measured to obtain evapotranspiration under different weather conditions. We also collected meteorological data (total radiation, water vapor pressure, air temperature, relative humidity, atmospheric pressure, soil heat flux, soil temperature, etc.), biomass, and soil properties. Our study showed the impact of wildfire on evapotranspiration. We also compared the differences in evapotranspiration of different herb covers. We detected that weather conditions (e.g., duration of continual drought) also had important influences on the evapotranspiration during post-wildfire restoration. The study provides more insight into characteristics of soil water movement after wildfire in karst areas and evaluating the availability of soil moisture after wildfires. 

How to cite: Liu, K. and Wang, L.: Evapotranspiration process under typical herb cover after wildfire, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4927,, 2022.

EGU22-4998 | Presentations | SSS2.8

The effect of soil erosion depth on maize yields, evidence based on a long-term field simulation experiment 

Li Rong, Xingwu Duan, Taicong Liu, and Yuhong Qin

Despite soil erosion has a strong impact on crop yield, whether soil erosion depth leads to abrupt or gradual crop yield changes is not well understood. To investigate how crop yields respond to soil erosion depth, we conducted a simulated erosion experiment by adopting the cut-and-fill method from 2012 to 2018 in a typical mountain area in the southeastern China. A completely randomized design with five soil erosion depth (5, 10, 20, 30 and 40 cm soil cut) and a control (0 cm soil cut) were used. Each treatment had three replicates. Maize was planted in these simulated erosion plots and maize yields were monitored from 2012 to 2018. Our results showed that the maize yield decreased with erosion depth and with decreasing remaining Ap horizon depth. Inconsistent with earlier studies, maize yield exhibited a quadratic function rather than linear response to increase in soil erosion depth and decrease in remaining Ap horizon depth. Soil erosion depth led to abrupt changes in maize yield. Compared with control, maize yield did not decrease significantly at 5 cm erosion depth or >25 cm remaining A horizon depth, but its reduction rate per 1cm of soil loss (3.36%) increased sharply at 10 cm erosion depth or 20 cm remaining Ap horizon. When remaining Ap horizon left 10 cm, maize yield demonstrated the lowest, which may be irreversible via application of chemical fertilization. Considering high heterogeneity of Ap horizon in the mountain area, soil erosion-crop yield relationship could be expressed well by remaining Ap horizon. We also found remaining Ap depth had a significant direct and indirect (via reduced SOM, soil available water, AP and AK contents) negative effect on maize yield. These results could be useful in identifying allowable soil-loss thickness and highlight the importance of soil nutrient monitoring in different soil erosion levels in designing a fertilization scheme aimed at ensuring food security.

How to cite: Rong, L., Duan, X., Liu, T., and Qin, Y.: The effect of soil erosion depth on maize yields, evidence based on a long-term field simulation experiment, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4998,, 2022.

EGU22-6640 | Presentations | SSS2.8 | Highlight

Simulating the effects of erosion on organic carbon dynamics in agricultural soils 

Honghong Lin, Xingwu Duan, Yawen Li, Lanlan Zhang, Li Rong, and Ruimin Li

Soil erosion in croplands has a strong impact on global carbon (C) cycle. Assessment of erosional effects on soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics in agricultural soils suffers from the difficulty of distinguishing the erosional effects and complex interaction processes between erosion and C cycling. To simulate the effects of soil erosion, a plots experiment including six erosion levels (0, 5, 10, 20, 30, and 40 cm eroded) was conducted for seven years (2012-2018). The erosion levels were simulated using artificial soil profiles created by mixing soils from different layers in the original soil profile (never eroded) in a certain proportion. Subsequently, based on the field observations during 2012-2018, the SOC dynamics of each experimental plot were simulated by using a process-oriented C cycle model (denitrification-decomposition (DNDC)) to quantify the effects of erosion on SOC dynamics. The measurements at the beginning of the plots experiment showed that simulated erosion resulted in the depletion of SOC with an average reduction rate of 9.7% per 10 cm of soil loss; SOC in eroded soils recovered after seven years of cropping, the declining slope of the SOC measured in 2018 was 3.0% per 10 cm of soil loss, suggesting that dynamic replacement had occurred. Model simulation results indicated that soil erosion could reduce the C inputs from crop residue by lowering soil productivity; soil heterotrophic respiration in eroded soils was restricted due to the lower initial SOC content. As a result, the simulated overall SOC stock in eroded soils was restored after erosion stopped because of the lower C output. These results indicated that SOC loss at eroding sites was caused mainly by lateral transport rather than enhanced decomposition. The fate of the displaced SOC within catchments is key to assess the net impacts of soil erosion on SOC dynamics at a large scale.

How to cite: Lin, H., Duan, X., Li, Y., Zhang, L., Rong, L., and Li, R.: Simulating the effects of erosion on organic carbon dynamics in agricultural soils, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6640,, 2022.

EGU22-6676 | Presentations | SSS2.8

Interactive effects of land use and soil erosion on soil organic carbon in the dry-hot valley region of southern China 

Yawen Li, Xingwu Duan, Ya Li, Yuxiang Li, and Lanlan Zhang
Changes in land use can result in soil erosion and the loss of soil organic carbon (SOC). However, the individual contribution of different land use types on SOC variability as well as the combined impacts of land use and soil erosion are still unclear. The aims of the present study were to: (1) evaluate soil erosion and SOC contents under different land use types, (2) identify the influences of soil depth and land use on SOC content, and (3) determine the contribution of land use and soil erosion on SOC variability. We assessed the SOC and total soil nitrogen (TSN) contents under three types of land use in the dry-hot valley in southern China. Caesium-137 ( 137Cs) and excess lead-210 ( 210Pbex) contents were also measured to determine soil-erosion rates. Land use was found to significantly affect soil erosion, and erosion rates were higher in orchard land (OL) relative to farmland (FL), which is in contrast with previous study results. SOC and TSN contents varied significantly between the three land use types, with highest values in forest land (FRL) and lowest values in OL. SOC was found to decrease with decreasing soil depth; the highest rate of reduction occurred in the reference site (RS), followed by FRL and FL. The interaction between soil erosion and land use significantly impacted SOC in the soil surface layer (0–12 cm); the direct impact of soil erosion accounted for 1.5% of the SOC variability, and the direct or indirect effects of land use accounted for the remainder of the variability. SOC content in deep soil was mainly affected by factors related to land uses (89.0%). This quantitative study furthers our understanding on the interactive mechanisms of land use and soil erosion on changes in soil organic carbon.

How to cite: Li, Y., Duan, X., Li, Y., Li, Y., and Zhang, L.: Interactive effects of land use and soil erosion on soil organic carbon in the dry-hot valley region of southern China, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6676,, 2022.

EGU22-6708 | Presentations | SSS2.8

Fractional Vegetation Cover Dynamics of the dry valleys in Southwest China from 2000 to 2020 

Qiankun Guo, Zhijie Shan, Ronghua Zhong, and Xingwu Duan

The vegetation cover in China has changed significantly in the past 30 years, however evidence for vegetation cover dynamics in the dry valley region (DVR) is still lacking. This study aimed to detect fractional vegetation cover dynamics in DVR from 2000 to 2020 with MODIS products, and evaluate the effects of precipitation and hydropower construction projects on vegetation cover dynamics. The results showed that: (a) the long-term average annual fractional vegetation cover for the dry valley region, including the dry-hot valleys, dry-warm valleys and dry-temperature valleys were 0.452, 0.426, 0.504 and 0.446, respectively. Significant decreasing trend of annual FVC from 2000 to 2020 was reported for overall dry valley region. Specifically, significant reducing trends were mainly observed in the dry-hot valleys and dry-warm valleys that located in the west-south part of DVR, while significant growing trends in the dry-temperature valleys of the Min and Baishui Rivers; (b) Annual Precipitation and hydropower projects construction are two key factors that contributing to changes in annual FVC for valleys. The present study is probably the first report on vegetation cover dynamics and the effects of influencing factors in DVR of Southwest China, and helpfully for further scientific studies and restoration management practices in DVR, although more detailed studies for the changes of vegetation cover and its mechanism need to be done.

How to cite: Guo, Q., Shan, Z., Zhong, R., and Duan, X.: Fractional Vegetation Cover Dynamics of the dry valleys in Southwest China from 2000 to 2020, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6708,, 2022.

EGU22-6779 | Presentations | SSS2.8 | Highlight

Rill flow velocity affected by the subsurface water flow depth of purple soil in Southwest China 

Tingting Tao, Shiqi Chen, and Xiaoyan Chen

    Subsurface water flow above the weakly permeable soil layer commonly occurs on purple soil slopes. However, it remains difficult to quantify the effect of subsurface water flow on the surface flow velocity. Laboratory experiments were performed to measure the rill flow velocity on purple soil slopes containing a subsurface water flow layer with the electrolyte tracer method considering 3 subsurface water flow depths (SWFDs: 5, 10, and 15 cm), 3 flow rates (FRs: 2, 4, and 8 L min-1), and 4 slope gradients (SGs: 5°, 10°, 15°, and 20°). As a result, the pulse boundary model fit the electrolyte transport processes very well under the different SWFDs. The measured rill flow velocities were 0.202 to 0.610 m s-1 under the various SWFDs. Stepwise regression results presented the positive dependence of the flow velocity on FR and SG but a negative dependence on SWFD. SWFD had notable effects on the rill flow velocity. Decreasing the SWFD from 15 to 5 cm increased the flow velocity. Moreover, the flow velocities under the 10- and 15-cm SWFDs were 89% and 86%, respectively, of that under the 5-cm SWFD. The flow velocity under the 5-, 10- and 15-cm SWFDs was decreased to 89%, 80%, and 77%, respectively, of that on saturated soil slopes. The results will enhance the understanding of rill flow hydrological processes under SWFD impact.

How to cite: Tao, T., Chen, S., and Chen, X.: Rill flow velocity affected by the subsurface water flow depth of purple soil in Southwest China, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6779,, 2022.

SSS3 – Soils as Records in Time and Space

EGU22-218 | Presentations | SSS3.2

Iron speciation throughout a karst pedosedimentary record in South of Italy 

Beatrice Giannetta, Michele Cassetta, Danilo Oliveira de Souza, Gino Mariotto, Giuliana Aquilanti, and Claudio Zaccone

A 3-m thick sediment was found in a limestone mine located in the Apulia region (south of Italy), at a depth of 25-30 m from the current ground level. Samples from 5 layers were investigated by X-ray Absorption Near Edge Spectroscopy (XANES) and Extended X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (EXAFS) at the iron (Fe) K-edge, paired with Raman spectroscopy (RS) and thermal analysis.

The pedosediment record under investigation represents a peculiar stratigraphic series showing complex features related to the Fe dynamic.

From a technical point of view, the challenges of phase identification in Fe oxides are many, but the application of multiple techniques provides sufficient evidence for the identification and discrimination of Fe phases. The combination of Fe XANES and EXAFS allowed to get information on the Fe speciation and its local structure. In detail, ferrihydrite is the most abundant Fe species, followed by goethite and minor amounts of hematite. Ferrihydrite content decreases with depth, where goethite and hematite occur. The presence of ferrihydrite, only detected by Linear Combination Fitting (LCF) on the first-derivative XANES spectra and on the EXAFS spectra, suggests that redox cycling of Fe occurred in these sediments. In addition, higher contents in Fe(III) complexed by organic matter is found in the top and deepest layer.

Generally speaking, RS and thermal analysis might present a promising tool to unravel some mineralogical components such as calcite, goethite and some Mn-oxides. Unlike for the identification of some Fe-bearing minerals like ferrihydrite, RS seems to be not well suited and this aspect require further investigations.

Definitely, this study confirms that each layer has preserved the distinct features that relate to its time of deposition. We underline how a multidisciplinary approach is strongly required to obtain reliable records when peculiar environments like karst pedosequences are investigated.

How to cite: Giannetta, B., Cassetta, M., Oliveira de Souza, D., Mariotto, G., Aquilanti, G., and Zaccone, C.: Iron speciation throughout a karst pedosedimentary record in South of Italy, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-218,, 2022.

EGU22-969 | Presentations | SSS3.2

Soils on mining relicts in Upper Silesia, Poland – first results from the Mala Panew River catchment and the UNESCO heritage site Tarnowskie Góry 

Thomas Raab, Alexander Bonhage, Wouter Verschoof-van der Vaart, Ireneusz Malik, Alexandra Raab, Anna Schneider, Jai Singh Chauhan, and Jeenus Joby Thekkethala

The mining region of Upper Silesia has a long tradition with international significance. In 2017, the historic silver mine in Tarnowsky Gory was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With the mining of galena (PbS), the region developed into one of the most important industrial centers in Central Europe in the 16th century. In addition to the underground galleries, the historical mining has left thousands of mining shafts as small relief forms, which have not been systematically investigated so far. Partly the mining shafts are associated with Relict Charcoal Hearths (RCH), another small form which is a result of charcoal production. In the Mala Panew River valley, north of Tarnowsky Gory, several tens of thousands of these RCH are found, which could be mapped by LiDAR in recent years. More detailed pedological investigations, which would allow a systematic comparison with other known RCH sites, are missing so far.

Within the framework of a Polish-German cooperation project, we started in 2021 to investigate the mining shafts and the RCH in Tarnowsky Gory and in the Mala Panew River valley from a pedological-sedimentological point of view. At the RCH sites on the Mala Panew River, we focused on the following questions: How was the soil stratigraphy changed by the RCH construction? What are main processes of soil development before and after RCH construction? What was the role of the pits surrounding the RCH? How do the sites differ from the RCHs at Tarnowsky Gory especially with respect to soil properties and soil genesis? In Tarnowsky Gory, where a RCH was excavated directly next to a mining shaft, the following questions were in focus: How did the mining activity change soil distribution and soil properties? What are main processes of soil development on the different parts? What is the origin of the pit infill? What is the origin of the shaft rim deposits?

Our work program included the construction of excavator trenches across the mining remains, construction, description and sampling of soil profiles along the trenches, schematic drawing of the soil stratigraphy, and laboratory analyses for the determination of texture, Munsell color, pH (CaCl2, H20), CaCO3 content, Ctotal & Ntotal and total elements by FPXRF. We present the first results of the ongoing investigations.

How to cite: Raab, T., Bonhage, A., Verschoof-van der Vaart, W., Malik, I., Raab, A., Schneider, A., Chauhan, J. S., and Thekkethala, J. J.: Soils on mining relicts in Upper Silesia, Poland – first results from the Mala Panew River catchment and the UNESCO heritage site Tarnowskie Góry, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-969,, 2022.

EGU22-1520 | Presentations | SSS3.2

Identification of the phases and mechanisms of Colluvisols formation in different soil regions 

Tereza Zádorová, Vít Penížek, Magdalena Koubová, Daniel Žížala, Radka Kodešová, Ondřej Drábek, Václav Tejnecký, Miroslav Fér, Aleš Klement, Antonín Nikodem, Tomáš Hrdlička, Jessica Reyes Rojas, Marko Spasic, Petra Vokurková, Lenka Pavlů, Karel Němeček, Aleš Vaněk, and Lenka Lisá

Colluvisols represent an important part of the soil cover, occupying concave slope elements especially in landscapes with undulating relief. Their development reacts to changes in land use or climate, manifested by intense erosion activity or longer resting periods with predominantly in-situ pedogenesis. In climatically, pedologically and historically different regions, diverse colluvial profiles can be encountered. In this study, we investigated deep colluvial profiles in three agricultural plots in Czechia with different soil cover, climatic and geological conditions in order to identify differences in the depositional pattern and erosion history of the areas. In each of the plots, two profiles (depths ranging from 200 to 400 cm) were opened in the toe-slope and side valley areas. Individual layers were investigated by various methods, including optically stimulated luminescence dating, 137Cs activity, concentration of vertically stable geochemical tracers (organochlorine pesticides, nutrients) or micromorphology and clay mineralogy, allowing the layers to be linked to periods of human activity. In all study areas, a significant difference in the colluvial deposition mechanism was found in the toe-slope and side valley areas. While the positions in the side valleys were mainly composed of older material with a minimum concentration of human-bound substances, the profiles in the toe-slopes are characterized by a significant deposition of recently accumulated material. The most pronounced redistribution of material was recorded in the Chernozem area on loess. In the toe-slope area, maxima of 137Cs, DDT (up to 350 µg/kg) and phosphorus were found at 100-140 cm, indicating the very low age of this layer (from the mid-20th century). The mineralogical and chemical composition of this layer and the layer below (140-220 cm) shows considerable similarities to the substrate material, indicating severe truncation of the source soils and accumulation of ploughed parent material. In contrast, in the side valley, this new material was found only in the topsoil, with approximately 3 m of older, humus-rich material beneath. This area is therefore not an area of recent deposition, but rather of material transport. The original buried Chernozem was found in both cases at a depth of about 300-350 cm. In the Cambisol area, the combination of rill and sheet erosion led to the formation of a highly stratified profile with a large variation in texture or humus content. The maximum of human-bound substances (137Cs, HCB, DDT) was found at a depth of 1 m, underlain by older material with signs of post-depositional pedogenesis (weathering and redox processes). The area of side valley was, as in the previous area, almost unaffected by recent sedimentation. In Luvisol area, the concentration on human-bound substances was generally lower and affected only the upper, humus-rich layer (ca 80 cm) of the Colluvisols, both at the toe-slope and the side valley. Below this layer, the profiles are characterised by relatively pronounced pedogenesis in the sedimentary material (clay coatings visible at the thin sections), indicating slower sedimentation and a longer period of sedimentary quiescence.

Study was supported by grant nr. 21-11879S of the Czech science foundation and MEYS CR project nr. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/16_019/0000845.  

How to cite: Zádorová, T., Penížek, V., Koubová, M., Žížala, D., Kodešová, R., Drábek, O., Tejnecký, V., Fér, M., Klement, A., Nikodem, A., Hrdlička, T., Reyes Rojas, J., Spasic, M., Vokurková, P., Pavlů, L., Němeček, K., Vaněk, A., and Lisá, L.: Identification of the phases and mechanisms of Colluvisols formation in different soil regions, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1520,, 2022.

EGU22-2222 | Presentations | SSS3.2

How to determine the anthropogenic signal at less settled spatially bounded archaeological sites? 

Martin Janovský, Alžběta Danielisová, Jan Horák, Barbora Strouhalová, and Daniel Bursák

Our research on spatially bounded Iron Age enclosure of the Viereckschanze type in southern Bohemia made it possible to distinguish the anthropogenic influence of the Iron Age from modern human activities. We collected over 456 samples from 200 cores to a depth of up to one metre. Samples were measured using pXRF to determine the content of the following elements: Al, Si, P, K, Ca, Ti, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, As, Rb, Sr, Zr, Pb, and LE – ‘light elements’). Subsequent isometric log-transformation of ppm elemental contents and PCA allowed to distinguish the prehistoric anthropogenic influence from the current modern one. The result of the analysis is as follows: 1) the P signal typical for archaeological settlements was found mainly outside of the enclosure; 2) the conventional anthropogenic signal from the inside of the enclosure was only represented by Mn; 3) other elements related to possible anthropogenic activities were revealed only after applying statistical analysis (As, Pb, Zn, Cu); 4) the unusual manifestation of Si and Ti was connected to the archaeological contexts. The combination of these results (Cu, Zn, Pb) and magnetic measurements revealed places of metallurgical activity inside Viereckschanze. It is certain that the site was not only a place of residential activity, but also of production activity. Viereckschanze was only occupied for a short period of time.

The presented abstract is adapted from the article published in Catena in 2022.



This work was supported by the Czech Science Foundation [Project: Mobility of materials and life cycles of artefacts: archaeometry of metals and glass of the La Tène and early Roman period; project number: 18-20096S]. M.J. was supported by project “Geochemical insight into non-destructive archaeological research” (LTC19016) of subprogram INTER‐COST (LTC19) of program INTEREXCELLENCE by Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport of the Czech Republic.

How to cite: Janovský, M., Danielisová, A., Horák, J., Strouhalová, B., and Bursák, D.: How to determine the anthropogenic signal at less settled spatially bounded archaeological sites?, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2222,, 2022.

EGU22-2354 | Presentations | SSS3.2

Spatial heterogeneity of buried and recent soils in a drift sand area in North-Eastern Germany 

Kazuki Uchino, Alexandra Raab, Alexander Bonhage, Anna Schneider, Thomas Raab, Klaus-Peter Wechler, and Albrecht Bauriegel

In the North European Lowland, on the sandy deposits of the Weichselian glaciation, soils developed during periods of landscape stability are often conserved under windblown sand. However, small-scale changes of sediments and other soil forming factors can result in high spatial variation of soil properties in these landscapes; and relocation of soil material by geomorphic processes further increases the spatial heterogeneity of the soil landscape. These spatial variations in soil properties and conservation need to be considered in order to correctly decipher and interpret the buried soils as records of past environmental conditions.

In the forefield of the open-cast mine Cottbus-Nord, archaeological excavations in a dune and drift sand area revealed widespread buried soils of different characteristics. The densely spaced excavation trenches give exceptionally good insights into the pedosphere, allow for reconstructing the distribution of fossil and recent soils in a high spatial resolution, and offer good opportunities to improve the understanding of spatial and temporal patterns of soil formation. Remains of postpleistocene hunter-gatherer campsites were documented in archaeological excavations and found to be associated with a buried soil horizon.

We recorded the stratigraphy of soil profiles along more than 15 trenches within an area of about 20 ha, and additionally described the position of buried soils from GPR surveys and microdrone photogrammetry. In a recently opened, 455 m long trench, all characteristic soils and sediments of the study region could be observed and stratigraphically connected. Within this trench, four profiles were identified for further research. Each profile was classified and described according to WRB and German Guidelines for Soil Mapping; and was sampled and investigated through laboratory analyses including determination of organic matter, total carbon and nitrogen contents, soil colour identification, texture analysis, magnetic susceptibility measurement, metal content analysis using X-ray fluorescence analyzer and pH measurement. The compaction and cementation of soil horizons was assessed in situ with a pocket penetrometer.

Results show a small-scale mosaic of soils developed on fluvio-aeolian, limnic and aeolian sediments, high spatial variations in pedogenesis due to varying groundwater influence and intensity of horizontal and vertical leachate transport, and high variations in the erosion or conservation of fossil soils. The soil and sediment stratigraphy reflects several phases of landscape development: i) the formation of a Late Pleistocene soil on fluvio-aeolian deposits, ii) a fossilization by aeolian sands, iii) a stability phase with intensive podsolization and peat formation, and iv) a land use-induced aeolian remobilization of the sands. 

How to cite: Uchino, K., Raab, A., Bonhage, A., Schneider, A., Raab, T., Wechler, K.-P., and Bauriegel, A.: Spatial heterogeneity of buried and recent soils in a drift sand area in North-Eastern Germany, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2354,, 2022.

EGU22-3563 | Presentations | SSS3.2

Initial processes of soil formation on Relict Charcoal Hearths (RCHs) in the Tauer Forest (Brandenburg, Germany) 

Alexandra Raab, Minhye Kim, Alexander Bonhage, Anna Schneider, Thomas Raab, and Albrecht Bauriegel

In the Tauer Forest, a woodland area north of the city of Peitz (Brandenburg, Germany), extensive charcoal burning was carried out from the mid-16th century to the mid-19th century resulting in numerous Relict Charcoal Hearths (RCHs). The most prominent feature of the soils on RCHs is the anthropogenically modified 20-30 cm thick RCH substrate that buries the former forest soil. The RCH substrate is a quite heterogenous mixture of mineral and organic compounds which were modified through heat during charring. It is characterized by its black color resulting from charcoal fragments (from fine dust to decimetre size pieces), lower bulk density, and higher porosity.

After their use, the charcoal production sites were abandoned and soon became overgrown. Soil formation could commence in this anthropogenically modified RCH substrate. During recently conducted field work on RCHs in the Tauer Forest we detected features of initial podzolisation (bleaching of quartz grains) within this RCH substrate. To further investigate initial processes of soil formation (acidification, podzolisation, accumulation of soil organic matter) on RCHs, two different RCH sites were selected in the Tauer Forest: one RCH site in the forest district Tannenwald and one RCH site in the forest district Kleinsee.

The Tannenwald site (RCH no. 29958) is situated in the western part of the Tauer Forest. It is an inland dune area with a coniferous forest (Scots pine, Pinus sylvestris L.) plantation. The forest soils are Podzols and the soils on the RCHs are classified as Spolic Technosols.  The dense undergrowth consists of mainly blueberry (Vaccinium L.). Dendrochronological ages (determination by K-U Heußner, DAI Berlin) of charcoal pieces proof, that the charcoal hearth was used after 1655.

The Kleinsee site (RCH no. 29424) is situated in the eastern part of the Tauer Forest. The parent material is sand from glaciofluvial sediments of the Weichselian glaciation. The forest soils are Brunic Arenosols (Protospodic) and the soils on the RCHs are classified as Spolic Technosols (Arenic). The deciduous forest is dominated by sessile oak (Quercus petraea (Matt.) Liebl.). The undergrowth is only scarce with some ferns (sporadic), blueberry (Vaccinium L.), some shoots of rowan (Sorbus aucuparia L.)  and some moss. There is no dendrochronological age available from the RCH, but RCHs nearby were dated from the 18th to the 19th centuries.

At both sites, three soil monoliths were sampled on the RCH platform and three monoliths from the natural forest soil as reference soils. The soil monoliths were sampled continuously in 3 cm vertical spacings. Following lab analyses were carried out: pH (CaCl2), pH (H2O), total carbon (TC), total nitrogen (TN), CECeff and total concentrations of selected elements. Analyses of pedogenic Fe are in progress. First results of these study will be presented and discussed.

How to cite: Raab, A., Kim, M., Bonhage, A., Schneider, A., Raab, T., and Bauriegel, A.: Initial processes of soil formation on Relict Charcoal Hearths (RCHs) in the Tauer Forest (Brandenburg, Germany), EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-3563,, 2022.