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Evaluating Alternative Methods of Soil Erodibility Mapping in the Mediterranean Island of Crete

Author

Listed:
  • Christos G. Karydas

    () (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Laboratory of Forest Management and Remote Sensing, Mouschounti & Dimokritou str., 55134 Thessaloniki, Greece)

  • Marinos Petriolis

    () (Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania, Department of Geoinformation in Environmental Management, Makedonias 1, 73100 Chania, Greece)

  • Ioannis Manakos

    () (Centre for Research and Technology Hellas, Information Technologies Institute, 6th km Xarilaou-Thermi, 57001 Thessaloniki, Greece)

Abstract

Soil erodibility is among the trickiest erosion factors to estimate. This is especially true for heterogeneous Mediterranean environments, where reliable and dense soil data are rarely available, and interpolation methods give very low accuracies. Towards estimating soil erodibility, research so far has resulted in several alternatives mainly based on empirical formulas, on physics-based equations or on inference with expertise. The aim of this work was to compare erodibility patterns derived by using the empirical United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) formula and by inference from a geological map in a Mediterranean agricultural site. The Kolymvari area, located in the western part of Crete, an area covered by olive groves and citrus orchards, was selected as the study site for this work. Comparison of the spatial patterns of soil erodibility derived from the two alternatives showed significant differences ( i.e. , a mean normalized difference value of 0.52), while a test of the “inference” alternative indicated very low accuracies (0.1475 RMS error). A comparison, however, of the spatial patterns of erosion values derived from both alternatives indicated that dissimilarities of the two soil erodibility maps faded out. Moreover, the highly risky areas provided by both alternatives were found to be identical for 88% of the whole study site.

Suggested Citation

  • Christos G. Karydas & Marinos Petriolis & Ioannis Manakos, 2013. "Evaluating Alternative Methods of Soil Erodibility Mapping in the Mediterranean Island of Crete," Agriculture, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(3), pages 1-19, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jagris:v:3:y:2013:i:3:p:362-380:d:26917
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Giorgos Mallinis & Ioannis Z. Gitas & Georgios Tasionas & Fotis Maris, 2016. "Multitemporal Monitoring of Land Degradation Risk Due to Soil Loss in a Fire-Prone Mediterranean Landscape Using Multi-decadal Landsat Imagery," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 30(3), pages 1255-1269, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    soil erodibility; K-factor; USDA formula; Crete; Kolymvari;

    JEL classification:

    • Q1 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture
    • Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General
    • Q11 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness
    • Q14 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Finance
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services
    • Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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