Nutrient losses by wind and water, measurements and modelling

S.M. Visser, L. Stroosnijder, W.J. Chardon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the Sahelian zone of West-Africa, erosion by both wind and water causes a serious decline in fertility of the already low fertile soils. Despite the fact that the flow of nutrients has been intensively investigated by the use of nutrient balances, little attention has been paid to the contribution of the soil erosion to the nutrient balance. Two physically based models (WEPS and EUROSEM, both written in PCRaster) were extended with nutrient modules to investigate the role of wind and water erosion in tire loss and gain of nutrients at the scale of a Sabetian field. The models are applied at three geomorphic units in the Katchari catchment in northern Burkina Faso. WEPS can predict spatial patterns of erosion and deposition due to wind-blown particle transport. Depending on wind direction, crusting and vegetation cover net erosion or deposition can occur. When erosion occurs considerable amounts of nutrients are lost, but when deposition occurs, most of these nutrients may be regained. Soil loss by water erosion is closely related to the crust type present, which regulates infiltration and thus runoff. Nutrient losses by water erosion are small compared with those by wind erosion, but are forever lost for the area. Sediment transport by wind in saltation mode results in the largest soil and nutrient loss at the time scale of an event. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
JournalCatena
Volume63
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Keywords

  • northern burkina-faso
  • sediment transport
  • farming systems
  • erosion
  • soil
  • productivity
  • balances
  • fields
  • flows
  • niger

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