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Title: Accelerated erosion of arable soils, with special reference to the West Midlands
Author: Reed, Alan Harrison
Awarding Body: Keele University
Current Institution: Keele University
Date of Award: 1979
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Whilst acknowledging the growing concern about the environmental impact of modern farming on the soil system, there has been little discussion about the natural extension of these problems where cropping takes place on sloping terrain - soil erosion. The widely held belief that accelerated erosion of arable soils rarely occurs in the United Kingdom outside of parts of eastern England affected by wind erosion, is challenged here. Evidence to substantiate the view that soil erosion (splash erosion, sheet, rill and gully erosion) is widespread in lowland Britain and is a cause for concern and action is derived in general from a number of areas in the United Kingdom and in particular from parts of the West Midlands. On more than six hundred sites in the West Midlands where water erosion was recorded by the writer during 1967-1976, soil compaction and down -slope cultivation lines were identified as major contributory factors in over 95% of cases. Three 'arable' parishes in east Shropshire are used as a case study where erosion episodes have been monitored by the writer (l967-1976). Of the total arable hectarage of each parish, 17%, 27% and 38% respectively was affected by a combination of wind and water erosion over the stated period. The principal causal factors, notably rainfall, wind, slope, soil compaction and management practices are examined. A detailed analysis of daily and hourly rainfall data for key stations provides background information for a special study of soil erosion events during 1967-1969 and 1976. The principal factors which affect the development of concentrated and unconcentrated surface run-off on arable soils are examined and a tentative classification of erosional forms is proposed. In the summary a case is made for the introduction of a national organisation to monitor soil erosion and provide guidance on soil conservation measures.
Supervisor: Derbyshire, E. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: G Geography (General)