Rosenmund, Alexandra and Confalonieri, Roberto and Roggero, Pier Paolo and Toderi, Marco and Acutis, Marco (2005) Evaluation of the EUROSEM model for simulating soil erosion in Central Italy. Italian Journal of Agrometeorology, Vol. 10 (2), p. 15-23. ISSN 1824-8705. Article.
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Erosion is one of the main factors involved in soil degradation, affecting 5-6 million hectares of soil every year. The consequent
loss of the most fertile portion of the soil and surface water pollution present high economic and environmental costs
for the community.
Central Italy, because of its characteristic geomorphology and the current prevailing land use options, can be considered a
vulnerable area to soil erosion. In fact, the prevalence of clayey soils and cropping systems based on durum wheat, frequently
in rotation with sunflower and other spring-summer crops, implies bare soil for many months and exposes it to considerable
In the last 15 years, physically-based models have been developed to analyze processes related to erosion and to compare
alternative land management options in order to minimize the vulnerability of agricultural lands. In this study, the simulation
model EUROSEM has been calibrated and validated using data collected during a 3-year period, in a basin in the province
of Ancona (Central Italy). Data collected in 1998 (bare soil) were used for calibration; data from 1999 (sunflower) and
2000 (winter wheat) for validation. Average (of all the elements) calibrated values of saturated hydraulic conductivity
(FMIN), effective net capillary drive (G), detachability of soil particles (EROD) and soil cohesion (COH) were, respectively,
1.8 mm h-1, 346 mm, 2.4 g J-1 and 10 kPa.
The model has been shown to effectively simulate runoff and erosion in the evaluated conditions: the modelling efficiency
is positive for the entire examined period and the relative root mean square errors (RRMSEs) computed on the cumulated
values of 13 events are lower than 80%, both for runoff and erosion. In fact, although there is some imprecision in the
simulation of single events, observed and simulated means of all erosion data are similar (respectively 1.53 and 1.14 t ha-1),
so that the model has been proven adequate for scenario simulations and for alternative management comparisons.
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