The aim of this paper is to propose a method to detect the functionality of riparian vegetation as buffers/filters/trap against soil runoff and polluting agents caused by agricultural land and erosion areas, near the river. The suspended sediment yield (SSY) is the main vector for pollutants and nutrients generated from the runoff, in the Apennines torrents, indeed finer particles of the soil and their aggregates were proved to be the preferential vehicle of nitrogen, phosphorus, and other polluting agents. The stages of the current study were to spot soil erosion critical areas by the application of Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE), on a river strip buffer of 200 m, with support of aerial photos and satellite images, land surveys, and application of a G. I. S. The riparian vegetation analysis, on a 20 m wide buffer, was obtained on the basis of ecologic richness, the structural quality, and the depth of the vegetation. The two maps obtained, “erosion risk strip” and “degree of effectiveness of riparian vegetation”, were connected to identify, for every river trunk, the level of functionality of the riparian vegetation in relation to the level of risk erosion on the near hill slopes. The methodology was applied on the Gaiana torrent, near Bologna, North Italian Apennines, where both basin soil loss and SSY have been well studies. The proposed methodology has been designed for the control of water pollution induced by suspended solids, pollutants, and nutrients coming from soil erosion and as a tool to improve the quality of the river environment. The method has the advantage of being easily applicable and can represent a basic tool for stakeholders to take decisions regarding the control and improvement of the river and it can suggest ways to improve or replant the degraded vegetation on the stream banks.

River Suspended Sediment Control through Riparian Vegetation: a Method to Detect the Functionality of Riparian Vegetation

PAVANELLI, DONATELLA;CAVAZZA, CLAUDIO
2010

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to propose a method to detect the functionality of riparian vegetation as buffers/filters/trap against soil runoff and polluting agents caused by agricultural land and erosion areas, near the river. The suspended sediment yield (SSY) is the main vector for pollutants and nutrients generated from the runoff, in the Apennines torrents, indeed finer particles of the soil and their aggregates were proved to be the preferential vehicle of nitrogen, phosphorus, and other polluting agents. The stages of the current study were to spot soil erosion critical areas by the application of Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE), on a river strip buffer of 200 m, with support of aerial photos and satellite images, land surveys, and application of a G. I. S. The riparian vegetation analysis, on a 20 m wide buffer, was obtained on the basis of ecologic richness, the structural quality, and the depth of the vegetation. The two maps obtained, “erosion risk strip” and “degree of effectiveness of riparian vegetation”, were connected to identify, for every river trunk, the level of functionality of the riparian vegetation in relation to the level of risk erosion on the near hill slopes. The methodology was applied on the Gaiana torrent, near Bologna, North Italian Apennines, where both basin soil loss and SSY have been well studies. The proposed methodology has been designed for the control of water pollution induced by suspended solids, pollutants, and nutrients coming from soil erosion and as a tool to improve the quality of the river environment. The method has the advantage of being easily applicable and can represent a basic tool for stakeholders to take decisions regarding the control and improvement of the river and it can suggest ways to improve or replant the degraded vegetation on the stream banks.
D. Pavanelli; C. Cavazza
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/93057
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