Soil Erosion Control

Soil Erosion Control The use of Fallout Radionuclides (FRNs) for assessing soil erosion and the effectiveness of soil conservation measures
Traditional monitoring and modelling techniques to quantify soil erosion/sedimentation require a large number of parameters and many years of measurements. The use of Fallout radionuclides (FRNs) can complement and also substitute conventional measurements to assess erosion and sedimentation processes.

Caesium-137 an artificial radionuclide coming from thermonuclear weapon tests, lead-210, a, geogenic radioisotope and beryllium-7, a cosmogenic radioisotope have been used worldwide since the 1970s to assess medium and short term soil erosion and deposition processes (see figure).

These radionuclides either anthropogenic or natural once fall on the land surface through rainfall or dry deposition are strongly fixed by soil particles and not taken up by plants. During erosion and deposition processes these FRNs move with soil particles and can be used to trace the origin of soil over a large area and over a short period of time.

The SWMCN Subprogram has effectively implemented the use of FRN through TCPS and CRPs activities to assess soil erosion and deposition rates but also to develop and improve land management technology packages and soil conservation measures that should be selectively deployed to control soil erosion for specific soil types, land uses and topographic conditions.