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Rainfall Erosivity in Europe

Panagos, Panos and Ballabio, Christiano and Borrelli, Pasquale and Meusburger, Katrin and Klik, Andreas and Rousseva, Svetla and Perčec Tadić, Melita and Michaelides, Silas and Hrabalíková, Michaela and Olsen, Preben and Aalto, Juha and Lakatos, Mónika and Rymszewicz, Anna and Dumitrescu, Alexandru and Beguería, Santiago and Alewell, Christine. (2015) Rainfall Erosivity in Europe. Science of the Total Environment, 511. pp. 801-814.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6337893

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Abstract

Rainfall is one the main drivers of soil erosion. The erosive force of rainfall is expressed as rainfall erosivity. Rainfall erosivity considers the rainfall amount and intensity, and is most commonly expressed as the R-factor in the USLE model and its revised version, RUSLE. At national and continental levels, the scarce availability of data obliges soil erosion modellers to estimate this factor based on rainfall data with only low temporal resolution (daily, monthly, annual averages). The purpose of this study is to assess rainfall erosivity in Europe in the form of the RUSLE R-factor, based on the best available datasets. Data have been collected from 1541 precipitation stations in all European Union (EU) Member States and Switzerland, with temporal resolutions of 5 to 60 min. The R-factor values calculated from precipitation data of different temporal resolutions were normalised to R-factor values with temporal resolutions of 30 min using linear regression functions. Precipitation time series ranged from a minimum of 5 years to a maximum of 40 years. The average time series per precipitation station is around 17.1 years, the most datasets including the first decade of the 21st century. Gaussian Process Regression (GPR) has been used to interpolate the R-factor station values to a European rainfall erosivity map at 1 km resolution. The covariates used for the R-factor interpolation were climatic data (total precipitation, seasonal precipitation, precipitation of driest/wet-test months, average temperature), elevation and latitude/longitude. The mean R-factor for the EU plus Switzerland is 722 MJ mm ha(-1) h(-1) yr(-1), with the highest values (>1000 MJ mm ha(-1) h(-1) yr(-1)) in the Mediterranean and alpine regions and the lowest (<500 MJ mm ha(-1) h(-1) yr(-1)) in the Nordic countries. The erosivity density (erosivity normalised to annual precipitation amounts) was also the highest in Mediterranean regions which implies high risk for erosive events and floods.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Umweltgeowissenschaften > Umweltgeowissenschaften (Alewell)
UniBasel Contributors:Meusburger, Katrin and Alewell, Christine and Panagos, Panagiotis
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0048-9697
e-ISSN:1879-1026
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
Identification Number:
Last Modified:10 Feb 2017 10:15
Deposited On:06 Feb 2015 09:59

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