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EFFECTS OF FOREST FIRE ON SOIL EROSION AND DRAINAGE BASIN DYNAMICS

Objective

ASSESSMENT OF THE IMPACT OF FIRE ON CATCHMENT DYNAMICS, ESPECIALLY IN AREAS WITH A STRONG SEASONAL CLIMATIC REGIME. THE PROJECT AIMS PARTICULARLY ON THE INTERACTIONS AND LINKAGES BETWEEN HILLSLOPE EROSION PROCESSES AND DRAINAGE BASIN DYNAMICS, SO THAT ADEQUATE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION MEASURES CAN BE TAKEN.

OVER 600 HA OF FOREST (EUCALIPTHUS GLOBULUS AND PINUS MARITIMUS) WERE URNED IN THE AGUEDA RIVER AREA DURING THE SEVERE FIRE ON 13-14TH JUNE 1986. SINCE THE AREA RECEIVES ON AVERAGE OVER 1800 MM OF RAINFALL AND HAS A MODERATE RELATIVE RELIEF OF AROUND 300 METRES, BUT WITH SOME VERY STEEP SLOPES (>20 DEGREES), AND SHALLOW STONY SOILS, HEAVY EROSION HAS ALREADY OCCURED FOLLOWING INTENSE RAINSTORMS DURING THE WINTER MONTHS.
IN THIS PROJECT IT IS INTENDED TO:

1.- ASSESS CHANGE IN SLOPE AND CATCHMENT DYNAMICS IN THE SHORT-TERM EVOLUTION OF GEOMORPHOLOGICAL PROCESSES;

2.- IDENTIFY THE CONTROLLING FACTORS DETERMINING HOW THE SYSTEM OPERATES AND HOW IT ADAPTS TO THE NEW CONSTRAINTS CREATED BY THE BURNING OF THE VEGETATION COVER;

3.- IDENTIFY THE RISK AREAS, SO THAT REMEDIAL ACTION IS TAKEN BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE;

4.- UNDERSTAND LONG-TERM TENDENCIES IN LANDSCAPE EVOLUTION DUE TO PHENOMENA OF VERY SHORT DURATION;

5.- IDENTIFY THE FEEDBACK MECHANISMS GENERATED AND TRY TO PREDICT THE DRAINAGE BASIN MODEL OF EVOLUTION, SO THAT ADEQUATE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION MEASURES CAN BE TAKEN.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

UNIVERSITY OF AVEIRO
Address
Campo Universitario De Santiago
3810-193 Aveiro
Portugal

Participants (1)

Swansea University
United Kingdom
Address
Singleton Park
SA2 8PP Swansea