EU Science Hub

Reply to the comment on "Rainfall Erosivity in Europe" by Auerswald et al.

Recently, In the Auerswald et al. (2015) comment on “Rainfall Erosivity in Europe” 5 points of critic are addressed: i) the neglect of seasonal erosion indices, ii) the neglect of published studies and data, iii) the low temporal resolution of the data, especially of the maximum rain intensity , iv) the use of precipitation data instead of rain data and thus the deviation of the R-factor in Germany and Austria compared to previous studies, and finally iv) the differences in considered time periods between countries, . We reply that: (i) An evaluation of the seasonal erosion index at European scale is to our knowledge not achievable at the moment with the available data but would be one of the next goals. Synchronous publication of the seasonal erosion index is not mandatory; particularly since seasonal soil loss ratios are not available at this scale yet. We are looking forward to the appropriate study by the authors of the comment as they assert they have access to the required data. (ii) We discuss and evaluate relevant studies in our original work and also in this reply but we cannot consider what is not available to the scientific community. (iii) The third point of critic was based on a misunderstanding by Auerswald et al. (2015) as we did calculate the maximum intensity with the highest resolution of data available. (iv) The low R-factor values in Germany and the higher values in Austria compared to previous studies are not due to the involvement of snow but due to a Pan-European interpolation. We argue that interpolation across the borders of Austria creates a more reliable data set. (iv) We agree that the use of short time series or time series from differing periods is generally a problem in all large scale studies and needs improvement in the future. However, because this affects countries with rather low variability of R-factor in our study, we are confident that overall results of the map are not biased. Concluding, the Pan-European rainfall data compilation (REDES) was a great success and yielded data from 1541 stations with an average length of 17.1 years and a temporal resolution of <60-min. However, a Pan-European data collection will never be complete without the help and supply of data by users. Thus, we invite the authors of the comment to share their data in the open available REDES in order to gain even better Rainfall-erosivity maps at regional or European scale.