Human-Induced Soil Degradation in Chile

  • Manuel CasanovaEmail author
  • Osvaldo Salazar
  • Oscar Seguel
  • Walter Luzio
Part of the World Soils Book Series book series (WSBS)


Recent statistics for Chile show that around 37 million ha (49 % of national territory) display diverse levels of erosion, with Regions IV, V and VI containing the highest eroded area, although human-induced soil erosion is concentrated principally from Region IV to Region X. Because the losses of soil quality (non-erosive processes) are not usually obvious they often receive less attention, but it is clear that they can cause a serious long-term economic decline by directly affecting agricultural productivity. Therefore, this chapter aims to describe the relevant human-induced processes (erosive and non-erosive) in Chile considering available information on assessment methods used by various researchers. It is clear that the only thing that can save the country from accelerated soil degradation is a step forward in the ethical thought of man with respect to natural resources.


Soil erosion Soil quality Agricultural productivity Human influence on soils Soil degradation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manuel Casanova
    • 1
    Email author
  • Osvaldo Salazar
    • 1
  • Oscar Seguel
    • 1
  • Walter Luzio
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Soil and EngineeringUniversity of ChileSantiagoChile

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