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The soil erosion in the vineyards is a critical issue that could affect their productivity, but also, when the cultivation is organized in terraces, increase the risk due to derived slope failure processes. If terraces are not correctly designed or maintained, a progressively increasing of gully erosion affects the structure of the walls. The results of this process is the increasing of connectivity and runoff. In order to overcome such issues it is really important to recognize in detail all the surface drainage paths, thus providing a basis upon which develop a suitable drainage system or provide structural measures for the soil erosion risk mitigation. In the last few years, the airborne LiDAR technology led to a dramatic increase in terrain information. Airborne LiDAR and Terrestrial Laser Scanner derived high-resolution Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) have opened avenues for hydrologic and geomorphologic studies (Tarolli et al., 2009). In general, all the main surface process signatures are correctly recognized using a DTM with cell sizes of 1 m. However sub-meter grid sizes may be more suitable in those situations where the analysis of micro topography related to micro changes is critical for slope failures risk assessment or for the design of detailed drainage flow paths. The Terrestrial Laser Scanner (TLS) has been proven to be an useful tool for such detailed field survey. In this work, we test the effectiveness of high resolution topography derived by airborne LiDAR and TLS for the recognition of areas subject to soil erosion risk in a typical terraced vineyard landscape of “Chianti Classico” (Tuscany, Italy). The algorithm proposed by Tarolli et al. (2013), for the automatic recognition of anthropic feature induced flow direction changes, has been tested. The results underline the effectiveness of LiDAR and TLS data in the analysis of soil erosion signatures in vineyards, and indicate the high resolution topography as a useful tool to improve the land use management of such areas. The stability conditions have been analyzed under the influence of the measured geometry alterations of the wall structure.
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