Wind erosion on arable lands, associated with extreme blizzard conditions within the hilly area of Eastern Romania
Niacsu, L.; Sfica, L.; Ursu, A.; Ichim, P.; Bobric, D.E.; Breaban, I.G.
Environmental Research 169: 86-101
The removal of wind-blown soils from cultivated fields is often expensive. It physically removes the most fertile portion of the soil that can lead to yield reduction in areas where wind erosion is a recurring problem. Soil nutrients and surface-applied chemicals can also be carried along with soil particles, contributing to off-site impacts. An extreme blizzard event has been investigated as case study within the Moldavian Plateau of eastern Romania. The results obtained, based on 45 snow core samples, show that the deposited sediment widely varied depending on land-use. The highest mean value of 5967 g m-2 occurred on fallow land and it sharply decreased under winter wheat (445 g m-2) and pasture (345 g m-2). Regarding the major subunits of the Moldavian Plateau, the Jijia Rolling Plain (JRP) was the most affected, with mean value of 7547 g m-2. The Barlad Plateau (BP) and the Falciu Rolling Plain (FRP) are depicted by smaller values, namely: 395 g m-2 and 386 g m-2. By using remote sensing it was estimated that 208,990 ha under fallow from JRP (34% of the total) were heavily subjected to wind erosion with a mean soil loss of 2.04 t ha-1, while the depositional area comprised 175,440 ha (29% of the total). The deposited soil is loamy compared with the general clayey-loamy texture of local soils. The main source of the wind-blown material is represented by the close proximity fields under fallow of the depositional areas.