Daniel Aviles Ribera
Sammanfattning av doktoranduppgiften
Characterisation of the susceptibility of soils to erosion by water-induced forces using soil physical parameters
Bank erosion is one of the key processes making a significant contribution to catchment sediment budgets. Excess suspended sediment reduces the diversity and abundance of aquatic organisms, decreases reservoir capacity, increases drinking water treatment costs and serves as a carrier of contaminants such as phosphorus, bacteria, heavy metals and pesticides (Wynn, 2006). Bank erosion also reduces the area of land available for agriculture, affects the hydraulic capacity of agricultural ditches and increases the need for ditch restoration and maintenance work.
Increasing maintenance costs have created a growing need to identify the reasons behind ditch failure and the best locations to introduce countermeasures. This has also prompted the development of methods to assess the status of agricultural ditches (e.g. Wesström et al., 2016; Joel et al., 2015). Methods for evaluating ditch status consider different parameters related to erosion processes. The most important bank erosion processes that occur within a particular channel have been identified as weathering and weakening, fluvial erosion and mass failure (Lawler, 1995). However, the parameters that characterise these processes and the relationships that exist between them are still not fully understood.
The aim of this PhD project is to gain a better understanding of the parameters that characterise fluvial erosion and mass failure. An assessment will be made of how these parameters are measured and how they can be used for identification and mapping of ditch areas that are susceptible to bank erosion. Such information can help in prioritising areas for ditch maintenance work and placement of countermeasures and, in the long run, create more stable ditches with lower amounts of soil eroded.