Original Articles

Using Geochemistry as a Tool Measuring Soil Erosion

  • 1. State key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, CAS, Guiyang 550002 China;
    2. Postgraduate Academy, CAS, Beijing 100039 China

Received date: 2002-05-01

  Revised date: 2002-07-01

  Online published: 2002-09-24


Soil erosion results in land degradation, farming product output and quality declined, and water pollution, etc.. The problem becomes more and more serious with the changed farming fashion,tillage mode,and progressing pressure of population. Many conventional erosion research methods and techniques, such as Elevation method, Remote Sensing technique, Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation method, Field Investigation technique, and Soil Loss Monitoring Spot method, have their limitations, though they are used widely today. Using geochemical tracers to measure soil erosion rates is popular and exerting particular function in erosion study. Those tracers include radionuclides, Rare Earth Element, magnetic susceptibility, and soil physics and chemistry index. This paper points out several limitations of conventional erosion research methods, and indicats that: (1) 137 Cs, 210 Pb can be used to study soil erosion rates in about 30~40 years. 7 Be can be used to trace seasonal soil particle movement and one rainfall erosion rates. The tracing theory, principle and technical path are also concluded. (2) REE can be used to measure incident erosion rates and to study erosion and deposition pattern. (3) Magnetic susceptibility and soil physics and chemistry index can be expected to use in studying soil erosion and land degradation in future. Geochemical tracing techniques have their own limitations. For example, chemical analysis of tracers in soil is expensive. Researchers are required to master essential analysis method and understand the knowledge of geochemial behavior of tracers. But these techniques are very useful supplements to traditional techniques, especially in the study of average erosion rates in several ten years and in one rainfall.

Cite this article

ZHENG Yong chun, WANG Shi jie, OU yang Zi yuan . Using Geochemistry as a Tool Measuring Soil Erosion[J]. PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY, 2002 , 21(5) : 507 -516 . DOI: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2002.05.013


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