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Closed Access item A review of runoff generation and soil erosion across scales in semiarid south-eastern Spain

Authors:Cantón, Yolanda
Solé-Benet, Albert
deVente, A.
Boix-Fayos, C.
Calvo-Cases, A.
Asensio, C.
Puigdefábregas, Juan
Keywords:Runoff, Erosion, Connectivity, Modelling, Soil degradation, Hillslope, Scale, Catchment
Issue Date:9-Apr-2011
Citation:Journal of Arid Environments 75:1254-1261 (2011)
Abstract:Climate, lithology, soil and especially, intense land use/cover changes, make SE Spain very vulnerable to runoff generation and water erosion leading to loss of nutrients and organic matter and to infrequent but devastating floods, reservoir siltation and mass failures. This susceptibility has led to heavy economic investment and research efforts since the 1980s, making this region a worldwide reference for understanding the hydrology and geomorphology of semiarid ecosystems. Runoff and soil erosion have been intensively studied throughout the last decades in various natural ecosystems as well as in abandoned farmlands. Research has considered a wide range of methods and spatial and temporal scales. This paper reviews the methods and data describing runoff generation and water erosion, synthesising the key processes involved, rates, thresholds and controlling factors from a scaledependent perspective. It also identifies the major gaps in current knowledge to provide recommendations for further research towards solutions that reduce the negative impacts of erosion. Research in SE Spain has contributed significantly to a better understanding of the effect of spatial and temporal scale on runoff and sediment yield measurements, and highlighted the important role of distinct erosion and sediment transport processes, hydrologic connectivity, spatial and temporal patterns of rainfall, the occurrence of extreme events and the impacts of land use changes. The most effective ways and challenges to predict runoff, soil erosion and sediment yield at the catchment scale are also discussed.
Publisher version (URL):http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaridenv.2011.03.004
Appears in Collections:(EEZA) Artículos

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