Soil erosion risk assessment in Europe
Factors influencing erosion have been graded for the diverse geographical situations existing in Europe and erosion mechanisms have been expressed with the help of experimental and expert-defined empirical rules. Land cover and crust formation on cultivated soils were considered as key factors influencing runoff and erosion risk. A soil geographical database has been created for Europe, and a model of erosion risk has been developed using a Geographical Information System (GIS). The model uses empirical rules to combine data on land use (CORINE Land Cover database), soil crusting susceptibility, soil erodibility (determined by pedotransfer rules from the Soil Geographical Data Base of Europe at scale 1:1 Million), relief (USGS HYDRO1K digital elevation model), and meteorological data at a 1 x 1 k m pixel size (Space Applications Institute, Ispra Joint Research Center). Spatial units for the presentation of results are defined using either administrative units or watershed catchment units.