Soil erosion

Soil erosion is a natural phenomenon of soil loss manly due to water runoff and wind. The process can be accelerated and intensified by climate change and some human activities, such as intensive agricultural and pastoral activities, inefficient or inadequate irrigation systems and deforestation.

Soil erosion can impact on exposed archaeological features in different ways. In the case of standing structures, the presence of rills in their proximity can excise the soil on which they are positioned, or the area around them, or can expose archaeological sections, with loss of stratigraphy and potentially favouring structure instability. Effects are even more urgent on archaeological buried structures and stratigraphy because when soil is eroded the effective soil thickness above them, which represents protection, is reduced. Therefore, archaeological features and stratigraphy are more vulnerable to threats acting on soil, such as agricultural activities, especially ploughing, which impact overtime on structures and stratigraphy, destroying contexts and spreading sherds of artifacts and building material on soil surface out of their context.

RESEARCH aims at exploiting soil erosion remote sensing processing chain, testing and enhancing existing algorithms in order to provide erosion risk models. The methodology is based on the estimation of soil loss per unit area and takes into account specific parameters such as rainfall factor, topography and land cover management. Multispectral satellite images of medium or high spatial resolution will be analyzed simultaneously with the development and processing of a high spatial resolution Digital Elevation Model (DEM), derived from SAR data or UAV. Remote Sensing and GIS techniques will be integrated in order both to estimate long–term average annual soil loss and to map erosion hazard. A reliable model for evaluation of soil erosion risk will be designed and developed using the output data of the soil erosion data processing chain combined with archaeological vulnerability data coming from archaeological field campaigns and remote sensing. Software and risk model development, and GIS techniques will provide the opportunity for secondments among partners.

WORK PACKAGE


LAND MOVEMENTarrow

Land movement, also mass movement or mass wasting, indicates the downslope movement surface materials, such as soil, rock, or mud.


LAND USE CHANGEarrow

Coastal erosion, agricultural activities, urban sprawl, uncontrolled vegetation growth are only some of the factors provoking land use change.


THEMATIC PLATFORMarrow

RESEARCH project aims at the creation of a Thematic Platform including back-end and front-end (Web Portal) and external interfaces.


CASE STUDIESarrow

Falerii Novi (Italy); Amathous (Cyprus); Almyriotiki (Greece); Itanos (Greece); Vaitsi Mill (Greece); Slawno-Darlowo area (Poland) in particular: Darlowo monastery, Cisowo, Dzierzecin.