Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Exploring the multiple techniques available for developing an understanding of soil erosion in the UK
Author: Benaud, Pia Emma
ISNI:       0000 0004 7231 8771
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2017
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Accelerated soil erosion and the subsequent decline in soil depth has negative environmental, and consequently financial, impacts that have implications across all land cover classifications and scales of land management. Ironically, although attempts to quantify soil erosion nationally have illustrated that soil erosion can occur in the UK, understanding whether or not the UK has a soil erosion problem still remains a question to be answered. Accurately quantifying rates of soil erosion requires capturing both the volumetric nature of the visible, fluvial pathways and the subtle nature of the less-visible, diffuse pathways, across varying spatial and temporal scales. Accordingly, as we move towards a national-scale understanding of soil erosion in the UK, this thesis aims to explore some of the multiple techniques available for developing an understanding of soil erosion in the UK. The thesis first explored the information content of existing UK-based soil erosion studies, ascertaining the extent to which these existing data and methodological approaches can be used to develop an empirically derived understanding of soil erosion in the UK. The second research chapter then assessed which of two proximal sensing technologies, Terrestrial Laser Scanning and Structure-from-Motion Multi-view Stereo (SfM-MVS), is best suited to a cost-effective, replicable and robust assessment of soil erosion within a laboratory environment. The final research chapter built on these findings, using both Rare Earth Oxide tracers and SfM-MVS to elucidate retrospective information about sediment sources under changing soil erosion conditions, also within a laboratory environment Given the biased nature of the soil erosion story presented within the existing soil erosion research in the UK, it is impossible to ascertain if the frequency and magnitude of soil erosion events in the UK are problematic. However, this study has also identified that without ‘true’ observations of soil loss i.e. collection of sediment leaving known plot areas, proxies, such as the novel techniques presented in the experimental work herein and the methods used in the existing landscape scale assessments of soil erosion as included in the database chapter, are not capable of providing a complete assessment of soil erosion rates. However, this work has indicated that despite this limitation, each technique can present valuable information on the complex and spatially variable nature of soil erosion and associated processes, across different observational environments and scales.
Supervisor: Brazier, Richard E. ; Quine, Timothy A. ; Anderson, Karen Sponsor: Defra
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Soil erosion ; UK ; Monitoring ; Geodatabase ; Structure-from-Motion ; Terrestrial Laser Scanning ; Rare Earth Oxide