Report of Working Group 3:

Leicester meeting 18-21 April 1999

Workgroup 3 - Data sets for soil erosion studies

A second meeting of the COST 623-WG3 took place in Leicester (UK) from 18th to 21st of April 1999. This was a joint meeting with the British Geomorphological Research Group (BGRG) on rainfall simulation and soil erosion. The objective of the Working Group 3 (WG3) in this meeting was: (a) to address the broad issues associated with the data sets for erosion studies, and (b) to set the agenda for future actions over the next 5 years in order to achieve the proposed objectives. For these purposes, two sessions were organized in this meeting. The first session dealt with a broad spectrum of issues of data required for soil erosion studies. Nine speakers from European Union countries and one invited speaker from Australia have presented existing soil, climate, vegetation and management data and their applicability for erosion studies. Issues related to water, wind, snow melt and tillage erosion were discussed. Furthermore, the importance of the availability of data for the application of existing models or pedotransfer functions for predicting soil erosion was stressed. During the second session an in-depth discussion was held about data sets issues raised by the presentations of key papers during the meeting and the experience of the participating groups. From this discussion, future actions have been planed for the next 5 years period. It has been decided to proceed in three phases in collaboration with the WG1 and WG2 working groups of this action.

In the first phase an inventory of the existing soil erosion data, including water, wind, snow melt and tillage erosion, in the various countries, will be made and possible ways to regionalize these data will be explored. The land use change issue will be incorporated in this phase in order to address how and why land use changes occur and how these changes affect soil erosion. This phase was decided to take place in Sardinia as a parallel meeting with the already scheduled meeting on data sets for desertification studies in October. The second phase will be related to the modeling data for predicting soil erosion. This will include an inventory of transfer functions in which the data improving or hampering soil erosion prediction will be defined. It is expected from this phase to derive the series of data required for soil erosion studies and to define the appropriate methodologies for collecting data. This phase will be carried out in connection with other agencies or projects related to soil erosion data sets, such as GCTE (Global Change and Terrestrial Ecosystems), European Environmental Agency, PAGES project, etc. The third phase will deal with rare, extreme and catastrophic events that occurred in the past and are related to soil erosion and land degradation. Historical records on extreme events are valuable in predicting soil erosion rates. Such data can be extracted from archeological and historical documents, detailed studies of truncated soil profiles, determination of depositional rates in alluvial plains by carbon dating techniques, etc.

The COST 623-WG3 co-leader

Dr. C. Kosmas

Last updated 20/11/1999 17:09:00