Agricultural terraces represent one of the best ways to prevent land degradation in hilly and mountainous landscapes. However, it is widely recognized that terraced slopes are threatened by agricultural land abandonment. In the literature, very few studies have quantitatively examined the influence of agricultural abandonment on the stability of terraced slopes. The goal of this research is to investigate the relationships between landslide magnitude and land use conditions of agricultural terraced slopes. In particular, LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) elevation data, coupled with aerial photo interpretation, were used for the computation of shallow landslide mobilized volumes on terraced slopes affected by an intense rainfall event. We performed the analysis within the Vernazza basin, a small Mediterranean coastal catchment located in the “Cinque Terre” area (Liguria, northwestern Italy), comparing pre-event and post-event LiDAR datasets. The results revealed that abandoned terraced slopes have been affected by a higher amount of mobilized debris volumes than still-cultivated terraces. Furthermore, terraces abandoned for a short time (less than 25-30 years) resulted in the most hazardous land use class, showing erosion rates that were approximately 2 and 3 times higher than terraced slopes abandoned a long time ago (more than 25-30 years) and still-cultivated terraces, respectively. These findings highlight that land abandonment and agricultural mismanagement can intensify the magnitude of rainfall-induced shallow landslides.

Response of terraced slopes to a very intense rainfall event and relationships with land abandonment: a case study from Cinque Terre (Italy)

BRANDOLINI, PIERLUIGI;CEVASCO, ANDREA;G. Pepe;
2018

Abstract

Agricultural terraces represent one of the best ways to prevent land degradation in hilly and mountainous landscapes. However, it is widely recognized that terraced slopes are threatened by agricultural land abandonment. In the literature, very few studies have quantitatively examined the influence of agricultural abandonment on the stability of terraced slopes. The goal of this research is to investigate the relationships between landslide magnitude and land use conditions of agricultural terraced slopes. In particular, LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) elevation data, coupled with aerial photo interpretation, were used for the computation of shallow landslide mobilized volumes on terraced slopes affected by an intense rainfall event. We performed the analysis within the Vernazza basin, a small Mediterranean coastal catchment located in the “Cinque Terre” area (Liguria, northwestern Italy), comparing pre-event and post-event LiDAR datasets. The results revealed that abandoned terraced slopes have been affected by a higher amount of mobilized debris volumes than still-cultivated terraces. Furthermore, terraces abandoned for a short time (less than 25-30 years) resulted in the most hazardous land use class, showing erosion rates that were approximately 2 and 3 times higher than terraced slopes abandoned a long time ago (more than 25-30 years) and still-cultivated terraces, respectively. These findings highlight that land abandonment and agricultural mismanagement can intensify the magnitude of rainfall-induced shallow landslides.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/854494
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