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Cartographic Procedure for the Analysis of Aeolian Erosion Hazard in Natural Parks (Central System, Spain)

Authors

  • A. M. Martínez-Graña,

    Corresponding author
    1. Geology Department, External Geodynamics Area, Science Faculty, University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain
    • Correspondence to: A. M. Martínez-Graña, Geology Department, External Geodynamics Area, Science Faculty, University of Salamanca, Plaza Merced s/n 37008, Salamanca, Spain.

      E-mail: amgranna@usal.es

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  • J. L. Goy,

    1. Geology Department, External Geodynamics Area, Science Faculty, University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain
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  • C. Zazo

    1. Geology Section, National Museum of Natural Sciences, Madrid, Spain
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Abstract

Cartographic analysis of the hazard of erosion is a useful tool for the planning and management of natural parks, helping to establish measures for protection and correction. Such parks, which offer spectacular landscape views and natural beauty, must be conserved with all their resources. Accordingly, park managers must have the cartographic tools for hazard planning, which is necessary for the rational and sustainable handling of human activities and the establishment of preventive and corrective measures. The present work describes a cartographic procedure using GIS that determines the risk of aeolian erosion. The method was applied to two protected natural parks in the central mountain system in Spain. This cartographic method revealed a weak risk of hazard of erosion in low-lying areas or valley floors, with increasing risk in areas of deflation. These areas were explored by mapping geomorphological domains and slopes, characterising different surficial deposits: colluvium, piedmonts, debris cone, alluvial fans and river terraces. Aeolian erosion on cultivated surfaces with gentle slopes was observed to be low, but in sectors with little agricultural activity and undulated reliefs, the hazard of erosion is important owing to the high analytical and textural erodibility and scant vegetation cover of these sectors. These parameters were studied on the basis of the mapping of soils and soil profiles. Additionally, the cartography of vegetation and the wind index in the cartographic procedure allowed for the different degrees of aeolian erosion to be better quantified. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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