EU Science Hub

Assessing soil erosion in Europe based on data collected through a European Network

Abstract: 
Under the European Union Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection, the European Commission Directorate-General for the Environment (DG Environment) and the European Environmental Agency (EEA) have identified the soil organic matter conservation and mitigation of soil losses by erosion as areas of priorities for the collection of policy-relevant soil data at European scale. In order to support EU soil management policies, data collection of soil quality indicators requires establishing harmonized datasets for the EU Member States. In 2010, the European Soil Data Centre of the European Commission conducted a project to collect data on soil organic carbon and soil erosion from national institutions in Europe using the European Environment Information and Observation Network for soil (EIONET-SOIL). The aim of this paper is to present the results obtained from analysing the soil erosion data submitted by participating countries. The collected data were also compared with the modelled data from PESERA and an other pan-European assessment based on plot studies aggregated data. The comparison focuses on 8 countries for which complete soil erosion datasets have been received. The mean values for the data received from national institutions are higher than the modelled estimates with PESERA. Deviations are mainly associated to the slope angle over 2 degrees and the land cover type forest and heterogeneous agricultural lands.