An approach to identifying and evaluating the potential formation of ephemeral gullies in the conditions of the Czech Republic
Soil erosion, including ephemeral gully erosion, is a serious degradation process in the Czech Republic. It currently threatens more than half of the agricultural acreage through negative changes in the whole complex of soil properties. The unfavourable consequences of surface runoff are seen in the erosion processes degrading agricultural soils. The South Moravia Region was selected as the case study area – mainly for its natural conditions and high soil degradation risk . A set of data, collected from 2012 to 2017 in a maize-growing area, especially on deep loess soils in the South Moravia Region, was used to analyse the morphological characteristics of the ephemeral gullies (EGs). The relationship was confirmed between the ephemeral gully (EG) length and the size of its contributing drainage area in accordance with studies conducted in other countries. It is also important that the closest relationship was confirmed between the length of the gully and its calculated volume. Dependence was sought on the data of 51 cases of the detailed, measured and evaluated EGs. These results will become the basis for finding a predictive relationship and the quantification of EG erosion. Locating EGs and predicting their length is crucial for estimating the sediment load and planning conservation strategies. The aim of this paper is to contribute to the understanding of this issue, i.e., define and verify the basic crucial causal factors and propose guidelines for locating the potential EG occurrence and predicting the sediment load. A research effort to better understand the EG mechanism and causal factors over a wide range of watershed conditions is fundamental to the establishment of basic rules for the adoption of optimal conservation strategies.
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