Title: Towards a pan-European assessment of land susceptibility to wind erosion
Citation: LAND DEGRADATION \& DEVELOPMENT vol. 27 no. 4 p. 1093-1105
Publication Year: 2016
JRC N°: JRC89549
ISSN: 1085-3278
URI: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ldr.2318/abstract
DOI: 10.1002/ldr.2318
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: An understanding of the spatial and temporal patterns of land susceptibility to wind erosion is essential to the design of effective management strategies for the control of land degradation. The knowledge about the land surface susceptible to wind erosion in European contexts shows significant gaps. The lack of research into the spatial and temporal patterns of wind erosion, particularly at the landscape and regional scales, prevents national and European institutions from taking actions to effectively mitigate land degradation. This study provides a preliminary pan-European assessment that delineates the spatial patterns of land susceptibility to wind erosion, and lays the groundwork for future modelling activities. Values of the mean annual susceptibility of land to wind erosion were defined by combining spatiotemporal variations of the most influential wind erosion factors (i.e. climatic erosivity, soil erodibility, vegetation cover and landscape roughness). The susceptibility of each input factor was ranked according to the fuzzy logic technique. State-of-the-art findings within the literature on soil erodibility and land susceptibility were used to evaluate the outcomes of the proposed modelling activity. Results show that the approach is suitable for integrating wind erosion information and environmental factors. Within the 34 European countries under investigation, moderate and high levels of land susceptibility to wind erosion were predicted for circa 25.8m ha (5.3%) and 13.0m ha (2.9%) respectively. New insights into the geography of wind erosion susceptibility in Europe were obtained, and provide a solid basis for further investigations into the spatial variability and susceptibility of land to wind erosion across Europe.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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