Modelling Soil Erosion in Europe
Soil Erosion in Europe
The processes of soil erosion by water, wind and tillage result from the operation of the laws of physics and chemistry. Since these laws are presumed to be applicable throughout the universe (i.e. both within and outside Europe), and since all models of erosion represent an attempt to describe these erosional processes (albeit with emphases which vary from one model to another), one might expect there to be little that is unique about erosion modelling in Europe. However, this is not the case.
... Present-day erosion modelling in Europe differs notably from erosion modelling in the USA, for example in the much greater diversity of approaches. This European distinctiveness appears to be on the increase. This chapter gives a brief survey of European erosion modelling and its scientific origins; its secondary aim is to describe, and to explore the reasons for, the above-mentioned distinctiveness. The focus here is on erosion by water. Wind erosion is not discussed, and tillage erosion barely mentioned. Also, the emphasis is on models which are useful for the practical business of soil conservation, although some models whose primary function is a greater understanding of the processes of erosion are also considered: this is mainly because such models may well have a role to play in the development of the next generation of models for soil conservation. Geomorphological models for long-term landscape evolution are, however, not discussed. The first section of the chapter gives an overview of the application and development of erosion models in Europe. The second section lists erosion models which are currently used within Europe and provides a general overview of each model's aims and approach and the spatial and temporal scales to which it may be applied. The criteria for a model to be listed in this chapter are that it is actively maintained and used and basic information on its principles, structure and mode of operation is readily available. We recognise that this