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Rill erosion on cultivated hillslopes during two extreme rainfall events in Normandy, France

Abstract : In the Normandy region of France, two extreme runoff events took place during winter of 1999 and spring of 2000 that caused flooding and considerable on-site as well as off-site damages. After each event, erosion damage was mapped on an experimental cultivated catchment (94 ha). The location and extent of rill, ephemeral gullies and deposits were measured. For each field, information on land use and soil surface characteristics were also collected. Since 1991, when experimental work and survey campaigns were initiated on this catchment, interrill erosion dominated over rill or ephemeral gully erosion. Our objective was to link information on topography, soil surface characteristics, and land use with intensity and type of erosion that developed. Erosion features that were most related to topographic attributes and hence less affected by seasonal variations were ephemeral gullies and some predefined deposit types. Topographic attributes alone were not sufficient to determine development of rill erosion, due to seasonal differences in vegetative cover. At the catchment scale, total erosion varied from 10 t/ha in December with 93% of the catchment area with vegetation cover <20%; to 1.5 t/ha in May, with 73% of the catchment area with vegetation cover >60%. The relative importance of ephemeral gully erosion out of total linear erosion varied from ca. 24% for the rainfall events of December to more than ca. 83% for the rainfall events of May. These results also highlight the fact that average annual sediment delivery as well as the relative importance of different erosion forms at the catchment scale cannot be generalised. Erosion prediction and erosion assessment risks are strongly dependent on catchment land use, morphology and storm characteristics. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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Submitted on : Sunday, May 31, 2020 - 9:51:09 PM
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Olivier Cerdan, Yves Le Bissonnais, Alain Couturier, Hocine Bourennane, Véronique Souchère. Rill erosion on cultivated hillslopes during two extreme rainfall events in Normandy, France. Soil and Tillage Research, Elsevier, 2002, 67 (1), pp.99-108. ⟨hal-02679930⟩

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