Soil erosion and associated off-site environmental impacts have attracted increasing attention in recent decades, and there is a growing need for reliable information on rates of soil loss. The potential for using 137Cs fallout to quantify rates and patterns of soil redistribution over medium-term timescales (ca. 45 years) has been successfully demonstrated in a wide range of environments around the world. The similar behaviour of fallout 210Pb in soils offers potential for its use as an alternative to 137Cs, in areas where 137Cs inventories are low or are complicasted by additional fallout from the Chernobyl accident. There have, however, to date been few attempts to validate the use of fallout 210Pb measurements for assessing erosion rates. This paper reports an attempt to explore the use of fallout 210Pb to estimate rates of water-induced soil erosion on uncultivated land. It focuses on three small forest/rangeland catchments located in Calabria, Southern Italy, for which measurements of sediment output are available. Comparison of the estimates of net soil loss from the catchments derived from 210Pb measurements with the measured sediment output, confirmed the validity of the 210Pb approach. The soil redistribution rates estimated using 210Pb measurements were also consistent with equivalent estimates obtained for the same study catchments using 137Cs measurements.

Using fallout lead-210 measurements to estimate soil erosion in three small catchments in Southern Italy

PORTO, Paolo
;
2006

Abstract

Soil erosion and associated off-site environmental impacts have attracted increasing attention in recent decades, and there is a growing need for reliable information on rates of soil loss. The potential for using 137Cs fallout to quantify rates and patterns of soil redistribution over medium-term timescales (ca. 45 years) has been successfully demonstrated in a wide range of environments around the world. The similar behaviour of fallout 210Pb in soils offers potential for its use as an alternative to 137Cs, in areas where 137Cs inventories are low or are complicasted by additional fallout from the Chernobyl accident. There have, however, to date been few attempts to validate the use of fallout 210Pb measurements for assessing erosion rates. This paper reports an attempt to explore the use of fallout 210Pb to estimate rates of water-induced soil erosion on uncultivated land. It focuses on three small forest/rangeland catchments located in Calabria, Southern Italy, for which measurements of sediment output are available. Comparison of the estimates of net soil loss from the catchments derived from 210Pb measurements with the measured sediment output, confirmed the validity of the 210Pb approach. The soil redistribution rates estimated using 210Pb measurements were also consistent with equivalent estimates obtained for the same study catchments using 137Cs measurements.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12318/3675
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