Assessment of soil erosion in karst regions of Havana, Cuba



Only recently have erosion models begun to be used in research work in Cuba, specifically the USLE and the thematic cartography of factors in a GIS framework without using a specific model. It therefore becomes necessary to include simulation models for karst regions that make possible an integral assessment of the specific types of soil erosion in those environments and take into consideration the effects of climate change in soil management systems. Morphometric analysis of karst doline absorption forms in regions of La Habana Province in 1986, 1997, and 2009 allowed the characterisation and application of the Morgan Morgan Finney (MMF) conceptual empirical erosion model in the Country for the first time. The results showed previously unreported losses of 12·3–13·7 t of soil ha −1 y−1, which surpasses the permissible erosion threshold. Furthermore, it clearly shows the unsustainable trend of Red Ferralitic and Ferrasol Rhodic (World Reference Base) soils use. The model applied considered the effects of extreme rainfall events associated with climate change in recent years. The results found have led to strategies for coping with future climate change in each scenario and have made it possible to evaluate the consequences. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.