The construction of the Alqueva reservoir in a semi-arid Mediterranean landscape brought new opportunities for irrigated farming. Land use changes and climate change may alter the risk of soil erosion that was not predicted in the initial development plans and decrease the lifetime of the investment. A comprehensive methodology that integrates the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) and geographic information system was adopted to study the effect on soilerosion of different land-uses of the Alqueva reservoir region. Analysing the soil erosion of each land-use it was obtained the following land use erosion vulnerability: Olive >orchard>Vineyard>Montado>Alfalfa. The strong erosion variances that were observed in the study area show the importance of locating the ‘hot spots’ of soil erosion. Simulated scenarios for the entire area can be used as a basis for site-specific soil conservation plans, to promote sustainable land management practices and to facilitate localized erosion control practices and environmentally friendly farming.
- Soil erosion
- Seasonal variations