Afforestation by slope terracing accelerates erosion. A case study in the Barranco de Barcedana (Conca de Tremp, NE Spain)
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The dam of Cellers, situated in the south of Tremp (Lleida Province), is undergoing progressive filling as a consequence of the heavy erosion which affects the lutitic formations of its hydrographic basin. Several actions have been carried out in order to reduce erosion; the most widely used is the afforestation of extensive areas. In certain areas, however, the restoration works have had negative effects, the afforestation leading to an even greater erosion than that which was originally occurring. This peculiar response is caused both by the modification of the morphologic and hydrologic characteristics of the slopes and by having left uncovered the clayey bedrock of the zone. These clayey materials have a considerable swelling and dispersive potential, which the aforementioned activities have tended to develop.
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