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Erosion and runoff generation from fire disturbed Mediterranean forest area




Rulli, Maria Cristina, author
Spada, Matteo, author
Bozzi, Silvia, author
Bocchiola, Daniele, author
Rosso, Renzo, author
Colorado State University, publisher

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A set of rainfall simulator experiments was carried out in the Liguria region, Italy, immediately after a fire occurred in early August 2003, to assess the effects of runoff, erosion and soil properties, induced by forest fires in Mediterranean areas. Three rainfall events, with different antecedent soil moisture conditions (dry, wet, very wet), were simulated on two 30 m2 plots, established on areas with different fire histories (i.e. recently burned and burned six years before the field experiments) and characterized by the same main physiographic features. Each simulation consisted of a single 60 minutes application of rainfall at a constant rate of about 76 mm h-1. The experimental results showed runoff ration, evaluated for different pre-event soil moisture conditions, ranging from 0 to 2% in the plot burned six years before, and from 21 to 41% in the recently burned plot. Particularly, the runoff ration from the burned plot was 60 times more than that from the area unburned in the last six years, for the wet run, and 20 times more, for the very wet run. Large increases in sediment yields were measured from the burned plot compared with the unburned one. Suspended sediment yields from the burned plot were more than two orders of magnitude bigger than that from the control plot in all the simulated events.


2005 annual AGU hydrology days was held at Colorado State University on March 7 - March 9, 2005.
Includes bibliographical references.

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