High resolution spatiotemporal analysis of erosion risk per land cover category in Korçe region, Albania

Abstract

Some recent land use changes in Albania, such as deforestation, cropland abandonment, and urban sprawl, have caused serious increase of erosion risk. The main objective of this study was to map erosion risk in Korçe region and assess the degree at which every land use is concerned. The G2 erosion model was applied, which can provide erosion maps and statistical figures at month-time intervals using input from free European and global geodatabases. The mapping results in Korçe region were derived at a 30-m cell size, which is an innovation for G2. Autumn-winter months were found to be the most erosive, with average erosion rates reaching the maximum in November and December, i.e. 2.62 and 2.36 t/ha, respectively, while the annual rate was estimated at 10.25 t/ha/yr. Natural grasslands, shurblands, mixed forests, and vineyards showed to exhibit the highest mean erosion rates, while shrublands, broad-leaved forests and natural grasslands were found to be the most extended land covers risky for non-sustainable erosion rates (i.e. >10 t/ha/yr). A detailed examination of the detected hot spots is now necessary by the competent authorities, in order to apply appropriate, site-specific conservation measures. Notably, use of SPOT VGT data did not prevent the maps from having extended gaps due to cloudiness. Sentinel-2 time series, freely available by the European Space Agency (ESA), have the potential to improve spatiotemporal coverage of V-factor, thus further empowering the G2 model, in the near future.

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Acknowledgments

ASTER GDEM is a product of METI and NASA, downloaded from the web portal http://www.jspacesystems.or.jp/ersdac/GDEM/E/index.html. Fcover grids (original BioPar products) were downloaded from VITO client portal (ftp: catftp.vgt.vito.be). Landsat 8 image was downloaded from USGS portal (http://glovis.usgs.gov/). The authors would like also to thank the Joint Research Centre, Institute of Environment and Sustainability, Land Resource Management Unit for hosting the component of the G2 model facilities and databases (http://esdac.jrc.ec.europa.eu/themes/g2-model).

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Correspondence to Christos G. Karydas.

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Zdruli, P., Karydas, C.G., Dedaj, K. et al. High resolution spatiotemporal analysis of erosion risk per land cover category in Korçe region, Albania. Earth Sci Inform 9, 481–495 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12145-016-0269-z

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Keywords

  • G2
  • USLE
  • Gravrilovic
  • Fcover
  • CORINE LC