Impact of land-use change and soil erosion on cultural landscapes: the case of cultural paths and sites in Paphos district, Cyprus
- 145 Downloads
Soil loss has been long characterized as one of the main threats of climate change with possible impact to natural and cultural heritage (UNESCO report 2006). This study illustrates how applied geomatics integrating earth observation and geographical information systems (GIS) can be used to quantify this threat in an UNESCO protected archeological site as well as on cultural routes such as the ancient Hellenistic-Roman Road network. Both study sites are located in the western part of Cyprus, and specifically in Paphos district, which is an area with undergoing major pressure caused by soil erosion and soil loss. Multi-temporal earth observation methods were applied for identification, mapping and estimation of the possible soil loss caused by soil erosion in the period of the past 30 years. The soil loss was estimated using the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) model. Special attention was given to the land use/land cover factor (C) and its impact on the overall estimation of the soil loss. Cover factor represents the effect of soil-disturbing activities, plants, crop sequence and productivity level, soil cover, and subsurface bio-mass on soil erosion. Urban areas have a definite role in retarding the recharge process, leading to increased runoff and soil loss in the broader area. On the other hand, natural vegetation plays a predominant role in reducing water erosion. In specific, cover factor was estimated for the cultural routes, classified and observed in years 1987 and 2016 in the District of Paphos. The variance of the values between 2 years was then calculated in order to identify the areas under major pressure of soil erosion caused by the changes in land use and land cover. In addition, high-resolution optical data were analyzed in order estimate the multi-temporal changes in soil loss in the archeological site of Nea Paphos. The results shows that integrated earth observation and GIS can be used as a systematic tool for monitoring cultural heritage sites against natural threats such as soil loss.
KeywordsSoil erosion Land-use change RUSLE C-factor GIS Cultural landscapes Earth observation Satellite remote sensing Landsat Sentinel-2
The results of these research activities have been partially funded within the project CLIMA (Cultural Landscape risk Identification, Management and Assessment), in the framework of Joint Programming Initiative for Cultural Heritage (JPI CH), agreement number KOINA/ΠΚΠ-HERITAGE PLUS/0314/07.
- Agapiou Α, Lysandrou V (2015) Remote sensing archaeology: tracking and mapping evolution in European scientific literature from 1999 to 2015. J Archaeol Sci Rep 4:192–200Google Scholar
- Alexakis DD, Agapiou A, Themistocleous K, Lysandrou V, Sarris A, Hadjimitsis DG (2013b) Natural and human risk assessment of the archaeological sites of Paphos area (Cyprus) with the use of remote sensing and GIS, Bulletin of the geological Society of Greece, vol. XLVII 2013, Proceedings of the 13th International Congress, ChaniaGoogle Scholar
- Bekker-Nielsen T (2004) The roads of ancient Cyprus, Museum Tusculanum Press, ISBN 8772899565, 9788772899565Google Scholar
- Colette A (2006) Climate Change and World Heritage Report on predicting and managing the impacts of climate change on World Heritage and Strategy to assist States Parties to implement appropriate management responses, World Heritage reports 22, Publication based on Document WHC-06/30.COM/7.1 presented to the World Heritage Committee at its 30th session, Vilnius, Lithuania, 8-16 July 2006 Published in May 2007 by UNESCO World Heritage Centrehere is the link https://www.google.com/urls?/a=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=2ahUKEwi2juKz5KXdAhWFl4sKHfs8CUkQFjABegQICRAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwhc.unesco.org%2Fdocument%2F8874&usg=AOvVaw0nReIr3JxlU3Sr9VkGIvZS
- Cuca B, Agapiou A (2017) Impact of land use change to the soil erosion estimation for clutural landscapes: case study of Paphos District in Cyprus. Int Arch Photogramm Remote Sens Spatial Inf Sci XLII-5/W1:25–29. https://doi.org/10.5194/isprs-archives-XLII-5-W1-25-2017 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Cuca B, Tzouvaras M, Agapiou A, Lysandrou V, Themistocleous K, Nisantzi A, Hadjimitsis DG (2016) Earth observation technologies in service to the cultural landscape of Cyprus: risk identification and assessment, Proceedings of RSCy2016, SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering, 9688, art no. 96880Y. https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2241669
- Department of Antiquities (2017) Nea Paphos (by Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works of the Republic of Cyprus), last accessed in April 2017 via http://www.mcw.gov.cy/mcw/da/da.nsf/DMLindex_en/DMLindex_en
- Howland DM, Jones WNI, Najjar M, Levy ET (2018) Quantifying the effects of erosion on archaeological sites with low-altitude aerial photography, structure from motion, and GIS: a case study from southern Jordan. J Archaeol Sci 90:62–70. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2017.12.008 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Renard KG, Foster GR, Weesies GA, McCool DK, Yoder DC (1997) Predicting soil erosion by water: a guide to conservationplanning with the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE). Agriculture Handbook No. 703, USDA-ARSGoogle Scholar
- Teng H, Liang Z, Chen S, Liu Y, Viscarra Rossel AR, Chappell A, Yu W, Shi Z (2018) Current and future assessments of soil erosion by water on the Tibetan Plateau based on RUSLE and CMIP5 climate models. Sci Total Environ 635:673–686. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.04.146 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Winning KH, Hann JM (2014) Modelling soil erosion risk for pipelines using remote sensed data, Biosystems Engineering 127:135–143 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2014.08.020 CrossRefGoogle Scholar