High-resolution topographic (HRT) techniques allow the mapping and characterization of geomorphological features with wide-ranging perspectives at multiple scales. We can exploit geomorphometric information in the study of the most extensive and common landforms that humans have ever produced: agricultural terraces. We can only develop an understanding of these historical landform through in-depth knowledge of their origin, evolution and current state in the landscape. These factors can ultimately assist in the future preservation of such landforms in a world increasingly affected by anthropogenic activities. From HRT surveys, it is possible to produce high-resolution Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) from which important geomorphometric parameters such as topographic curvature, to identify terrace edges can be extracted, even if abandoned or covered by uncontrolled vegetation. By using riser bases as well as terrace edges (riser tops) and through the computation of minimum curvature, it is possible to obtain environmentally useful information on these agricultural systems such as terrace soil thickness and volumes. The quantification of terrace volumes can provide new benchmarks for soil erosion models, new perspectives to stakeholders for terrace management in terms of natural hazard and offer a measure of the effect of these agricultural systems on soil organic carbon sequestration. This paper presents the realization and testing of an innovative and rapid methodological workflow to estimate the anthropogenic reworked and moved soil of terrace systems in different landscapes. We start with remote terrace mapping at large scale and then utilize more detailed HRT surveys to extract geomorphological features, from which the original theoretical slope-surface of terrace systems were derived. These last elements were compared with sub-surface information obtained from the excavations across the study sites that confirm the reliability of the methodology used. The results of this work have produced accurate DTMs of Difference (DoD) for three terrace sites in central Europe in Italy and Belgium. Differences between actual and theoretical terraces from DTM and excavation evidence have been used to estimate the soil volumes and masses used to remould slopes. The utilization of terrace and lynchet volumetric data, enriched by geomorphometric analysis through indices such as sediment conductivity provides a unique and efficient methodology for the greater understanding of these globally important landforms, in a period of increasing land pressure.

Volume estimation of soil stored in agricultural terrace systems: A geomorphometric approach

Cucchiaro S.;
2021

Abstract

High-resolution topographic (HRT) techniques allow the mapping and characterization of geomorphological features with wide-ranging perspectives at multiple scales. We can exploit geomorphometric information in the study of the most extensive and common landforms that humans have ever produced: agricultural terraces. We can only develop an understanding of these historical landform through in-depth knowledge of their origin, evolution and current state in the landscape. These factors can ultimately assist in the future preservation of such landforms in a world increasingly affected by anthropogenic activities. From HRT surveys, it is possible to produce high-resolution Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) from which important geomorphometric parameters such as topographic curvature, to identify terrace edges can be extracted, even if abandoned or covered by uncontrolled vegetation. By using riser bases as well as terrace edges (riser tops) and through the computation of minimum curvature, it is possible to obtain environmentally useful information on these agricultural systems such as terrace soil thickness and volumes. The quantification of terrace volumes can provide new benchmarks for soil erosion models, new perspectives to stakeholders for terrace management in terms of natural hazard and offer a measure of the effect of these agricultural systems on soil organic carbon sequestration. This paper presents the realization and testing of an innovative and rapid methodological workflow to estimate the anthropogenic reworked and moved soil of terrace systems in different landscapes. We start with remote terrace mapping at large scale and then utilize more detailed HRT surveys to extract geomorphological features, from which the original theoretical slope-surface of terrace systems were derived. These last elements were compared with sub-surface information obtained from the excavations across the study sites that confirm the reliability of the methodology used. The results of this work have produced accurate DTMs of Difference (DoD) for three terrace sites in central Europe in Italy and Belgium. Differences between actual and theoretical terraces from DTM and excavation evidence have been used to estimate the soil volumes and masses used to remould slopes. The utilization of terrace and lynchet volumetric data, enriched by geomorphometric analysis through indices such as sediment conductivity provides a unique and efficient methodology for the greater understanding of these globally important landforms, in a period of increasing land pressure.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11390/1215633
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