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Evaluation of water erosion at a mountain catchment in Poland using the G2 model

Halecki, Wiktor, Kruk, Edyta, Ryczek, Marek
Catena 2018 v.164 pp. 116-124
Universal Soil Loss Equation, basins, databases, land cover, land use, landscapes, meteorological data, rain, risk, soil properties, storms, vegetation, water erosion, watersheds, weather stations, Carpathian region, Poland
The Western Carpathians region in southern Poland is characterized by high erosion risk due to steep slopes, flysch formation and intense precipitation with frequent storm events. The G2 model, based on the principles of the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE), was used to investigate soil erosion assessment, except that the yearly rainfall erosivity factor was substituted for by the monthly one. The plant cover factor was determined based on the CORINE land cover 2012 database and field observations of vegetation stages. Slope intercept was estimated by applying a Sobel filter. Terrain properties were calculated from a 5 m DEM of the area. Modeling investigations were carried out in the agricultural basin of the mountain catchment (1.47 km2) in the years 2011–2014. Rainfall data were collected from weather stations, and soil properties were measured in 43 locations. The G2 model estimated total annual soil loss as between 3.37 Mg ha−1 (2012) and 31.05 Mg ha−1 (2014). The erosive events that contributed most to yearly erosion occurred in May (2014: 80.40% of yearly total) and June (2013: 57.08%). Redundancy analysis based on land-use types provided factors affecting soil erosion by water. In conclusion, the G2 model was useful in erosion estimation in a steep-sloped agricultural basin with a variable hydrological regime.