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Rill erosion rates in burned forests


Wagenbrenner, Joseph W.; Robichaud, Peter R. 2011. Rill erosion rates in burned forests. In: Goncalves, Antonio Bento; Vieira, Antonio A. B., eds. Proceedings of the 3rd International Meeting of Fire Effects on Soil Properties; 15-19 March 2011; University of Minho, Guimaraes, Portugal. Guimaraes, Portugal: Universidade do Minho, NIGP e CEGOT. p. 156-159.

Introduction Wildfires often produce large increases in runoff and erosion rates (e.g., Moody and Martin, 2009), and land managers need to predict the frequency and magnitude of postfire erosion to determine the needs for hazard response and possible erosion mitigation to reduce the impacts of increased erosion on public safety and valued resources. The Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) hillslope erosion model uses parameters based on field measurements to calculate the interrill and rill components of erosion (Nearing et al., 1989). Since rill erosion is the dominant hillslope erosion process in burned forests (Pietraszek, 2006), Robichaud et al. (2010) used simulated runoff experiments to compare rill erosion rates among unburned and burned forest plots in the western U.S. These experiments provided measurements of the magnitude of rill erosion in burned areas as compared to rates in unburned areas and also were used to calculate the rill erosion parameters needed for accurate prediction of post-fire erosion rates.

Keywords: wildfire, burn severity, rill erosion, forest disturbance, sediment flux


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Title: RMRS Other Publications: Rill erosion rates in burned forests
Electronic Publish Date: September 18, 2012
Last Update:
September 18, 2012

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