Soil erosion represents an important threat to the long-term sustainability of agriculture and forestry in many areas of the world, including southern Italy. Numerous models and prediction procedures have been developed to estimate rates of soil loss and soil redistribution, based on the local topography, hydrometeorology, soil type and land management. However, there remains an important need for empirical measurements to provide a basis for validating and calibrating such models and prediction procedures as well as to support specific investigations and experiments. In this context, erosion plots provide useful information on gross rates of soil loss, but are unable to document the efficiency of the onward transfer of the eroded sediment within a field and towards the stream system, and thus net rates of soil loss from larger areas. The use of environmental radionuclides, particularly caesium-137 (137Cs) and excess lead-210 (210Pbex), as a means of estimating rates of soil erosion and deposition has attracted increasing attention in recent years and the approach has now been recognised as possessing several important advantages. In order to provide further confirmation of the validity of the estimates of longerterm erosion and soil redistribution rates provided by 137Cs and 210Pbex measurements, there is a need for studies aimed explicitly at validating the results obtained. In this context, the authors directed attention to the potential offered by a set of small erosion plots located near Reggio Calabria in southern Italy, for validating estimates of soil loss provided by 137Cs and 210Pbex measurements. A preliminary assessment suggested that, notwithstanding the limitations and constraints involved, a worthwhile investigation aimed at validating the use of 137Cs and 210Pbex measurements to estimate rates of soil loss from cultivated land could be undertaken. The results demonstrate a close consistency between the measured rates of soil loss and the estimates provided by the 137Cs and 210Pbex measurements and can therefore been seen as validating the use of these fallout radionuclides to document soil erosion rates in that environment. Further studies are clearly required to exploit other opportunities for validation in contrasting environments and under different land use conditions.
|Titolo:||Validating the use of 137Cs and 210Pbex measurements to estimate rates of soil loss from cultivated land in Southern Italy|
PORTO, Paolo (Corresponding)
|Data di pubblicazione:||2012|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|