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Soil particle size distribution and induced soil carbon transport by ephemeral gully erosion in Mediterranean mountain arable land

AuthorsQuijano Gaudes, Laura ; Kuhn, Nikolaus J.; Navas Izquierdo, Ana
Keywordsephemeral gully erosion
settling behavior
soil inorganic carbon
dissolved organic carbon
Mediterranean soils
ephemeral gully erosion; settling behavior; soil inorganic carbon; dissolved organic carbon; Mediterranean soils
Issue DateNov-2019
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
CitationQuijano L, Kuhn NJ, Navas A. Soil particle size distribution and induced soil carbon transport by ephemeral gully erosion in Mediterranean mountain arable land. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 44 (14): 2741-2751 (2019)
AbstractIn Mediterranean mountain agroecosystems, soil erosion associated with the development of ephemeral gullies is a common environmental problem that contributes to a loss of nutrient‐rich topsoil. Little is known about the influence of ephemeral gully erosion on particle size distribution and its effect on soil organic (SOC) and inorganic (SIC) carbon among different sized soil particles in agricultural soils. In this study, laboratory tests were conducted using velocity settling tube experiments to examine the effects of erosion on sediment particle size distributions from an incised ephemeral gully, associated with an extreme event (235 mm). We also consider subsequent deposition on an alluvial fan in order to assess the distribution of SOC and SIC concentrations and dissolved carbon before and after the extreme event. Soil fractionation was carried out on topsoil samples (5 cm) collected along an ephemeral gully in a cultivated field, located in the lower part of a Mediterranean mountain catchment. The results of this study showed that the sediment transported downstream by runoff plays a key role in the particle size distribution and transportability of soil particles and associated carbon distribution in carbonate rich soils. The eroding sediment is enriched in clay and silt‐sized particles at upslope positions with higher SOC contents and gradually becomes coarser and enriched in SIC at the end of the ephemeral gully because the finest particles are washed‐out of the study field. The extreme event was associated with an accumulation of dissolved organic carbon at the distal part of the depositional fan. Assessment of soil particle distribution using settling velocity experiments provides basic information for a better understanding of soil carbon dynamics in carbonate rich soils. Processes of soil and carbon transport and relationships between soil properties, erodibility and aggregate stability can be helpful in the development of more accurate soil erosion models.
Description11 Pags.- 2 Tabls.- 8 Figs.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1002/esp.4703
Appears in Collections:(EEAD) Artículos
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