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Mapping of erosion rates in marly badlands based on a coupling of anatomical changes in exposed roots with slope maps derived from LiDAR data

Saez, Jérôme Lopez
Corona, Christophe
Rovéra, Georges
Astrade, Laurent
Berger, Frédéric
Published in Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 2011, vol. 36, no. 9, p. 1162-1171
Abstract Black marls form very extensive outcrops in the Alps and constitute some of the most eroded terrains, thus causing major problems of sedimentation in artificial storage systems (e.g. reservoirs) and river systems. In the experimental catchments near Draix (France), soil erosion rates have been measured in the past at the plot scale through a detailed monitoring of surface elevation changes and at the catchment scale through continuous monitoring of sediment yield in traps at basin outlets. More recently, erosion rates have been determined by means of dendrogeomorphic techniques in three monitored catchments of the Draix basin. A total of 48 exposed roots of Scots pine have been sampled and anatomical variations in annual growth rings resulting from denudation analysed. At the plot scale, average medium‐term soil erosion rates derived from exposed roots vary between 1·8 and 13·8 mm yr−1 (average: 5·9 mm yr−1) and values are significantly correlated with slope angle. The dendrogeomorphic record of point‐scale soil erosion rates matches very well with soil erosion rates measured in the Draix basins. Based on the point‐scale measurements and dendrogeomorphic results obtained at the point scale, a linear regression model involving slope angle was derived and coupled to high‐resolution slope maps obtained from a LiDAR‐generated digital elevation model so as to generate high‐resolution soil erosion maps. The resulting regression model is statistically significant and average soil erosion rates obtained from the areal erosion map (5·8, 5·2 and 6·2 mm yr−1 for the Roubine, Moulin and Laval catchments, respectively) prove to be well in concert with average annual erosion rates measured in traps at the outlet of these catchments since 1985 (6·3, 4·1 and 6·4 mm yr−1). This contribution demonstrates that dendrogeomorphic analyses of roots clearly have significant potential and that they are a powerful tool for the quantification and mapping of soil erosion rates in areas where measurements of past erosion is lacking.
Keywords RootsDendrogeomorphologyMarly badlandsErosion ratesLiDARMapping
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Other version: http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/esp.2141
Research group Climatic Change and Climate Impacts
(ISO format)
SAEZ, Jérôme Lopez et al. Mapping of erosion rates in marly badlands based on a coupling of anatomical changes in exposed roots with slope maps derived from LiDAR data. In: Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 2011, vol. 36, n° 9, p. 1162-1171. doi: 10.1002/esp.2141 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:121717

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Deposited on : 2019-08-20

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