loading page

THE ROLE OF UNPAVED ROADS IN THE SEDIMENT BUDGET OF A SEMI-ARID MESOSCALE CATCHMENT
  • +1
  • Teresa Raquel Lima Farias,
  • Pedro Medeiros,
  • José Carlos de Araujo,
  • Joaquin Navarro Hevia
Teresa Raquel Lima Farias
Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Ceará
Author Profile
Pedro Medeiros
Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Ceará
Author Profile
José Carlos de Araujo
Federal University of Ceará
Author Profile
Joaquin Navarro Hevia
University of Valladolid
Author Profile

Abstract

High rates of erosion and runoff production on road infrastructure have been documented, indicating that unpaved roads might be significant sources of sediment in catchments. In this paper, the production of surface sediments from unpaved rural roads at different scales is assessed. The study took place in northeastern Brazil, in a semiarid area of the Caatinga biome, vulnerable to desertification. Sediment production data from road surface segments were monitored for two years (2013-2014) under conditions of natural precipitation. By using hydrosedimentological modeling and Geographic Information System (GIS), the sediment budget was calculated at the meso-scale basin (aprox. 930 km²), in order to identify the relative contribution of roads to the sediment balance. Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) associated with Maner’s sediment delivery ratio (SDR) equation, proved to be an adequate approach for predicting sediment yield on the road segment scale; the best results were obtained for the road without traffic, due to the non-interference in this segment of external factors, such as traffic and maintenance activities, not explicitly considered in the model formulation. The modeling procedure showed that the roads, which occupy only 0.7% of the catchment surface, were responsible for approximately 7% of soil loss in the area. Furthermore, sediment connectivity might be enhanced by roads, which cross the river network and, therefore, deliver more directly the sediment generated at hillslopes. This is particularly important in the studied environment, where sediment connectivity is low due to limited runoff and the existence of a dense network of surface water reservoir

Peer review status:IN REVISION

23 Jun 2021Submitted to Land Degradation & Development
25 Jun 2021Submission Checks Completed
25 Jun 2021Assigned to Editor
28 Jun 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
12 Jul 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
16 Jul 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Major
12 Aug 20211st Revision Received
13 Aug 2021Assigned to Editor
13 Aug 2021Submission Checks Completed
30 Aug 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
30 Aug 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
20 Sep 20212nd Revision Received
22 Sep 2021Assigned to Editor
22 Sep 2021Submission Checks Completed