Long-term monitoring of gully erosion in Udmurt Republic, Russia
- 1Department of the Landscape Ecology, Kazan Federal University, 18 Kremlyovskaya street, Kazan, 420008, Russia
- 2Department of the Environment and Ecology, Udmurt State University, 1 Universitetskaya, Izhevsk, 423064, Russia
- 3Laboratory for Soil Erosion and Fluvial Processes, Lomonosov Moscow State University, GSP-1, Leninskie Gory street, Moscow, 119991, Russia
Abstract. This article presents results from the long term-monitoring of gully headcut retreat rates (GHRR) between 1959 and 2015 in different parts of the Udmurt Republic and is based on the use of historical aerial photographs and field observations (measuring the distance from the gully head to a fixed reference point) (Vanmaercke et al., 2016). It was determined that GHRR decreased from 2.4 to 0.3 m yr−1 during the 1959–1997 observation period and the 1998–2015 period, respectively. Measurements of GHRR were made once per year for most of the monitoring sites, and twice per year (after snow-melt in May, and after the rainy season, October–November) for gullies located in the eastern part of the study area that contain high proportions of arable land. 80 % of GHRR occurred during the snowmelt period (1978–1997), and decreased to 53 % since 1997. Spatial patterns of GHRR resulting from changing hydro-climatic factors for different regions of the Udmurt Republic, as a whole, were determined based on the analysis of long-term observations at 6 meteorological stations and 4 gauging stations. The main reason for decreasing GHRR appears to be due to reductions in winter frozen soil depth. The influence of stormwater runoff more clearly occurred within the east and north parts of the Vyatka-Kama interfluve, whereas higher correlations between GHRR and frozen soil depth were found for the western parts of the Republic. The most significant increases in GHRR appear to have occurred during the warm part of the year (June–July), after > 40 mm rainstorms.