New Afrodite Seminar
"Vulnerability of Alpine Soils to Water Erosion"
CAMPUS SAVONA MA 116 | 10.00 AM | 29.06.2012
Mountain watersheds are particularly vulnerable to extreme meteorological events, such as high intensity rainfall, and mountain soils often show pronounced fragility and low resilience due to severe environmental conditions. Soil loss phenomena (soil slips, debris flows, diffuse erosion etc..) are very common and, despite the limited soil depth involved (a few decimeters) may interest relevant areas, and therefore considerable soil volumes. Alpine soil vulnerability is partly intrinsic but in part related to climate change (mainly precipitation regimes and snow thawing), and is enhanced by the abandonment of rural mountain areas that reduced the land maintenance actions traditionally carried out by farmers and local populations in the past. Soil hazards are related to different processes such as water erosion, loss of consistency, surface runoff and sediment transport, often occurring simultaneously and interacting with each other. Therefore, the overall effects on soil are not easy to quantify as they can be evaluated from different soil chemical and physical properties, referring to specific soil loss phenomena such as soil erosion, soil liquefaction, loss of consistency. In this seminar, some case studies from Aosta Valley will be presented, focusing on the main soil physical and chemical properties that are related to soil vulnerability. Methods of sampling, measurement and mapping will be discussed and a range of results from Alpine watershed will be presented.