Ινστιτούτο Μεσογειακών Σπουδών
Assessment of intra-annual and inter-annual variabilities of soil erosion in Crete island (Greece) by incorporating the dynamic
ISBN: 2072-4292

Polykretis, C., Alexakis, D. D., Grillakis, M. G., & Manoudakis, S. (2020). Assessment of intra-annual and inter-annual variabilities of soil erosion in Crete island (Greece) by incorporating the dynamic "nature" of R and C-factors in RUSLE modeling. Remote Sensing, 12(15) doi:10.3390/RS12152439

Under the continuously changing conditions of the environment, the exploration of spatial variability of soil erosion at a sub-annual temporal resolution, as well as the identification of high-soil loss time periods and areas, are crucial for implementing mitigation and land management interventions. The main objective of this study was to estimate the monthly and seasonal soil loss rates by water-induced soil erosion in Greek island of Crete for two recent hydrologically contrasting years, 2016 (dry) and 2019 (wet), as a result of Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) modeling. The impact of temporal variability of the two dynamic RUSLE factors, namely rainfall erosivity (R) and cover management (C), was explored by using rainfall and remotely sensed vegetation data time-series of high temporal resolution. Soil, topographical, and land use/cover data were exploited to represent the other three static RUSLE factors, namely soil erodibility (K), slope length and steepness (LS) and support practice (P). The estimated rates were mapped presenting the spatio-temporal distribution of soil loss for the study area on a both intra-annual and inter-annual basis. The identification of high-loss months/seasons and areas in the island was achieved by these maps. Autumn (about 35 t ha−1) with October (about 61 t ha−1) in 2016, and winter (about 96 t ha−1) with February (146 t ha−1) in 2019 presented the highest mean soil loss rates on a seasonal and monthly, respectively, basis. Summer (0.22–0.25 t ha−1), with its including months, showed the lowest rates in both examined years. The intense monthly fluctuations of R-factor were found to be more influential on water-induced soil erosion than the more stabilized tendency of C-factor. In both years, olive groves in terms of agricultural land use and Chania prefecture in terms of administrative division, were detected as the most prone spatial units to erosion.

  • Δημήτριος Αλεξάκης
  • Χρήστος Πολυκρέτης
  • Μανώλης Γρυλλάκης
doi:10.3390/RS12152439