Академическое издательство «Гео»

Keywords: basins, satellite imagery interpretation, gully length and gully head density, dynamics.


Spatio-temporal assessment of gully erosion in the
zone of intensive agriculture in the European part of Russia

R.A. Medvedeva*, V.N. Golosov*, **, O.P. Ermolaev*

*Kazan (Volga Region) Federal University, 420008, Kazan, ul. Kremlevskaya, 18, Russia,
gregina8@mail.ru, golossov@gmail.com, oyermol@gmail.com
**Lomonosov Moscow State University,
119991, Moscow, Leninskie gory, 1, Russia, golossov@gmail.com

Using the method of mapping by high resolution satellite imagery mapping, a study was made of the key areas which are located in the southern part of the forest, forest-steppe and steppe zones of Tatarstan and of Orenburg, Saratov and Voronezh oblasts. Two key indicators were determined: the gully length density and gully head density within the basins; results of the investigation were used in compiling respective maps in vector format. It is established that the density of the gully length in the basins varies over the range from 0 to 0.5 km/km2 (from the absence of gullies to strong gully erosion), and the density of gully heads from 0 to 3 units head/km2. The slope type of gullies is dominant in all basins (about 80 %), while the coastal and bottom types have approximately the same proportion (14 and 10 %, respectively). Using methods of mathematical statistics we determined a high directly proportional dependence of the indicators of the contemporary gully network on the level of ploughness of the basins and the mean annual precipitation amount, and an indirectly proportional dependence on the level of sodding. An abrupt reduction in gullying indicators was determined. It was found that among the chief reasons behind an abrupt reduction in the gullies to date is a decrease of the rate of agricultural development, with an additional factor, namely, a dramatic decrease in surface runoff down the arable slopes during spring snowmelt caused by climate warming. It is concluded that that a significant part of the gully forms in the study area is currently inactive and massively passes into the balka stage.

Keywords: basins, satellite imagery interpretation, gully length and gully head density, dynamics.

DOI: 10.21782/GIPR0206-1619-2018-3(29-37)