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Historical aspects of soil erosion in the Mejerda catchment, Tunisia

Jebari, Sihem LU ; Berndtsson, Ronny LU ; Lebdi, Fethi and Bahri, Akissa (2012) In Hydrological Sciences Journal 57(5). p.901-912
Abstract
Agricultural use and related water erosion leads to significant changes in the sedimentological and hydrological characteristics of watersheds and thus means negative consequences for rural development. This research work aimed at putting present-day soil erosion of the important Mejerda catchment in to a historical context. The catchment of wadi Mejerda in northern Tunisia has experienced soil erosion due to weather and human impact during thousands of years. We used historical texts and results from archeological research that go back to 1000 B.C. as well as data collected during the last century. Soil erosion from different types of agricultural landscape management was analyzed together with information on the soils’ production... (More)
Agricultural use and related water erosion leads to significant changes in the sedimentological and hydrological characteristics of watersheds and thus means negative consequences for rural development. This research work aimed at putting present-day soil erosion of the important Mejerda catchment in to a historical context. The catchment of wadi Mejerda in northern Tunisia has experienced soil erosion due to weather and human impact during thousands of years. We used historical texts and results from archeological research that go back to 1000 B.C. as well as data collected during the last century. Soil erosion from different types of agricultural landscape management was analyzed together with information on the soils’ production potential, hydrographical network, and flood frequency. The results showed that water erosion has increased the hydrographic network by 65 km and increased the deltaic plain as much as 15 km2/century. The soil productivity has, however, also decreased significantly. Moreover, due to river choking, the number of overflowing occurrences has multiplied over the last century. Finally, it is shown that water erosion follows a specific cycle of degradation throughout the watershed. These findings could be considered for better water and soil management in the context of semiarid areas. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Agricultural landscape, Deltaic plain, Farmland management, Historical background, Hydrographical network, Mejerda wadi, Semi-arid, Temporal degradation pattern, Tunisia, Water erosion
in
Hydrological Sciences Journal
volume
57
issue
5
pages
901 - 912
publisher
IAHS Press
external identifiers
  • wos:000306111300005
  • scopus:84863567338
ISSN
0262-6667
DOI
10.1080/02626667.2012.685741
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
e7a00398-79b1-4bd3-907c-7eaa7124e1b2 (old id 2205527)
date added to LUP
2011-11-29 14:09:33
date last changed
2017-04-09 04:08:29
@article{e7a00398-79b1-4bd3-907c-7eaa7124e1b2,
  abstract     = {Agricultural use and related water erosion leads to significant changes in the sedimentological and hydrological characteristics of watersheds and thus means negative consequences for rural development. This research work aimed at putting present-day soil erosion of the important Mejerda catchment in to a historical context. The catchment of wadi Mejerda in northern Tunisia has experienced soil erosion due to weather and human impact during thousands of years. We used historical texts and results from archeological research that go back to 1000 B.C. as well as data collected during the last century. Soil erosion from different types of agricultural landscape management was analyzed together with information on the soils’ production potential, hydrographical network, and flood frequency. The results showed that water erosion has increased the hydrographic network by 65 km and increased the deltaic plain as much as 15 km2/century. The soil productivity has, however, also decreased significantly. Moreover, due to river choking, the number of overflowing occurrences has multiplied over the last century. Finally, it is shown that water erosion follows a specific cycle of degradation throughout the watershed. These findings could be considered for better water and soil management in the context of semiarid areas.},
  author       = {Jebari, Sihem and Berndtsson, Ronny and Lebdi, Fethi and Bahri, Akissa},
  issn         = {0262-6667},
  keyword      = {Agricultural landscape,Deltaic plain,Farmland management,Historical background,Hydrographical network,Mejerda wadi,Semi-arid,Temporal degradation pattern,Tunisia,Water erosion},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {901--912},
  publisher    = {IAHS Press},
  series       = {Hydrological Sciences Journal},
  title        = {Historical aspects of soil erosion in the Mejerda catchment, Tunisia},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02626667.2012.685741},
  volume       = {57},
  year         = {2012},
}