Soil erosion is addressed as one of the main hydrogeological risks in the European Union. Since the average annual soil loss rate exceeds the annual average formation rate, soil is considered as a non-renewable resource. Besides, human activities, human-induced forces and climate change have further accelerated the erosion processes. Therefore, understanding soil erosion spatial and temporal trends could provide important information for supporting government land-use policies and strategies for its reduction. This paper describes the Dynamic Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (D-RUSLE) model, a modified version of the well-known RUSLE model. The RUSLE model formulation was modified to include variations in rainfall erosivity and land-cover to provide more accurate estimates of the potential soil erosion in the Italian Alps. Specifically, the modelling of snow occurrence and the inclusion of Earth Observation data allow dynamic estimation of both spatial and temporal land-cover changes. Results obtained in Val Camonica (Italy) show that RUSLE model tends to overestimate erosion rates in Autumn/Winter because not considering snow cover and vegetation dynamics. The assimilation of satellite-derived information in D-RUSLE allows a better representation of soil erosion forcing, thus proving a more accurate erosion estimate for supporting government land-use policies and strategies for reducing this phenomenon.

D-RUSLE: a dynamic model to estimate potential soil erosion with satellite time series in the Italian Alps

M. Gianinetto;M. Aiello;F. Polinelli;F. frassy;M. C. Rulli;G. Ravazzani;D. Bocchiola;D. D. Chiarelli;A. Soncini;R. Vezzoli
2019-01-01

Abstract

Soil erosion is addressed as one of the main hydrogeological risks in the European Union. Since the average annual soil loss rate exceeds the annual average formation rate, soil is considered as a non-renewable resource. Besides, human activities, human-induced forces and climate change have further accelerated the erosion processes. Therefore, understanding soil erosion spatial and temporal trends could provide important information for supporting government land-use policies and strategies for its reduction. This paper describes the Dynamic Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (D-RUSLE) model, a modified version of the well-known RUSLE model. The RUSLE model formulation was modified to include variations in rainfall erosivity and land-cover to provide more accurate estimates of the potential soil erosion in the Italian Alps. Specifically, the modelling of snow occurrence and the inclusion of Earth Observation data allow dynamic estimation of both spatial and temporal land-cover changes. Results obtained in Val Camonica (Italy) show that RUSLE model tends to overestimate erosion rates in Autumn/Winter because not considering snow cover and vegetation dynamics. The assimilation of satellite-derived information in D-RUSLE allows a better representation of soil erosion forcing, thus proving a more accurate erosion estimate for supporting government land-use policies and strategies for reducing this phenomenon.
Satellite time series, NDVI, RUSLE model, soil erosion, natural hazards, Alpine basin
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1106756
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