Use of the fallout radionuclides cesium-137 and excess lead-210 offers important advantages over traditional methods of quantifying erosion and soil redistribution rates. However, both radionuclides provide information on longer-term (i.e., 50–100 years) average rates of soil redistribution. Beryllium-7, with its half-life of 53 days, can provide a basis for documenting short-term soil redistribution and it has been successfully employed in several studies. However, the approach commonly used introduces several important constraints related to the timing and duration of the study period. A new approach proposed by the authors that overcomes these constraints has been successfully validated using an erosion plot experiment undertaken in southern Italy. Here, a further validation exercise undertaken in a small (1.38 ha) catchment is reported. The catchment was instrumented to measure event sediment yields and beryllium-7 measurements were employed to document the net soil loss for a series of 13 events that occurred between November 2013 and June 2015. In the absence of significant sediment storage within the catchment’s ephemeral channel system and of a significant contribution from channel erosion to the measured sediment yield, the estimates of net soil loss for the individual events could be directly compared with the measured sediment yields to validate the former. The close agreement of the two sets of values is seen as successfully validating the use of beryllium-7 measurements and the new approach to obtain estimates of net soil loss for a sequence of individual events occurring over an extended period at the scale of a small catchment.

Validating a mass balance accounting approach to using 7Be measurements to estimate event-based erosion rates over an extended period at the catchment scale

PORTO, Paolo
;
2016

Abstract

Use of the fallout radionuclides cesium-137 and excess lead-210 offers important advantages over traditional methods of quantifying erosion and soil redistribution rates. However, both radionuclides provide information on longer-term (i.e., 50–100 years) average rates of soil redistribution. Beryllium-7, with its half-life of 53 days, can provide a basis for documenting short-term soil redistribution and it has been successfully employed in several studies. However, the approach commonly used introduces several important constraints related to the timing and duration of the study period. A new approach proposed by the authors that overcomes these constraints has been successfully validated using an erosion plot experiment undertaken in southern Italy. Here, a further validation exercise undertaken in a small (1.38 ha) catchment is reported. The catchment was instrumented to measure event sediment yields and beryllium-7 measurements were employed to document the net soil loss for a series of 13 events that occurred between November 2013 and June 2015. In the absence of significant sediment storage within the catchment’s ephemeral channel system and of a significant contribution from channel erosion to the measured sediment yield, the estimates of net soil loss for the individual events could be directly compared with the measured sediment yields to validate the former. The close agreement of the two sets of values is seen as successfully validating the use of beryllium-7 measurements and the new approach to obtain estimates of net soil loss for a sequence of individual events occurring over an extended period at the scale of a small catchment.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12318/1617
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