Nav: Home

Climate change speeds up gully erosion

February 25, 2016

The erosion of large natural channels by flowing water -- gully erosion -- can wreak havoc on fields, roads, and buildings. In some cases, the sudden expansion of gullies even claims human lives. Geographers from KU Leuven, Belgium, are the first to show a worldwide link between heavy rainfall and the speed at which gullies expand. With predicted climate change, gullies may erode up to three times faster.

Researchers Matthias Vanmaercke and Jean Poesen from the Division of Geography and Tourism joined forces with an international team to collect and analyse measurements from 26 countries all over the world. Their study shows that rainfall has a much bigger impact on gully erosion than was previously assumed.

"We already knew that gullies can suddenly expand significantly during heavy rainfall", says Matthias Vanmaercke. "In a tropical area, a gully can sometimes grow up to 100 metres in length due to one downpour. This may have serious consequences in populated areas. Our study is the first to provide exact numbers. The model that we developed shows that even relatively small changes in rainfall intensity can have major consequences for gully expansion."

This process comes with challenges. "A widely accepted climate projection predicts that rainfall intensities will increase in most regions worldwide", Vanmaercke continues. "Gully expansion rates could double in Western Europe and the US, where rainfall intensity is expected to go up by 10 to 15% by 2060. In regions such as Ethiopia, gully erosion rates may even triple. This would not only have a detrimental effect on agriculture and water quality, but could also entail problems such as muddy floods and the destruction of roads and other infrastructure."

The good news is that gully erosion can often be stopped. This study is an important step in the right direction, as the proposed model and the data collected make it possible to better predict the expansion of gullies. As a result, more adequate measures can be taken in terms of soil and water conservation practices.
-end-


KU Leuven

Related Rainfall Articles:

NASA looks at rainfall from Tropical Storm Dora
Now a tropical storm, Hurricane Dora has been skirting southwestern Mexico's coast since it formed and has transported tropical moisture onshore that has produced some heavy rain showers.
NASA adds up Tropical Storm Cindy's rainfall
Tropical storm Cindy was downgraded to a tropical depression after moving onshore near the Texas and Louisiana Border on Thursday June 22, 2017 and bringing a lot of rain with it.
Bangladesh's heavy rainfall examined with NASA's IMERG
At least 156 people in Bangladesh were killed during the past week by landslides and floods caused by heavy rainfall.
NASA looks at extreme Florida rainfall by satellite
Extremely heavy rain has recently fallen over Florida and the Global Precipitation Measurement or GPM mission core satellite looked at that some of that rainfall on June 7.
Summer rainfall in vulnerable African region can be predicted
Summer rainfall in one of the world's most drought-prone regions can now be predicted months or years in advance, climate scientists at the Met Office and the University of Exeter say.
NASA adds up record Australia rainfall
Over the week of May 15, extreme rainfall drenched northeastern Australia and NASA data provided a look at the record totals.
Varied increases in extreme rainfall with global warming
A new study by researchers from MIT and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich shows that the most extreme rain events in most regions of the world will increase in intensity by 3 to 15 percent, depending on region, for every degree Celsius that the planet warms.
NASA examines Peru's deadly rainfall
The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM constellation of satellites provide data on precipitation rates and totals.
NASA examines Ex-Tropical Cyclone Dineo's rainfall
NASA examined the heavy rainfall generated by Tropical Cyclone Dineo as it made landfall in Mozambique and NASA's Terra satellite spotted the storm's remnants over four countries.
NASA observes extreme rainfall over Southern California
NASA calculated California's rainfall over seven days using a constellation of satellites and created a map to provide the visual extent of the large rainfall totals.

Related Rainfall Reading:

Rainfall

Paige’s father has Alzheimers, and her fiancé is shot and killed in an armed robbery. Paige fights her depression and pulls herself out of the dark place that she has succumbed to, with monumental effort and a new-found determination to live her life to the fullest, doing things that both terrify and exhilarate her.

When Paige meets Adam, the attraction is instantaneous. Adam grew up in an orphanage and has no recollection of his life before the age of six. Paige falls head over heels in love and embraces a happiness she never dreamed possible. Until the day she finds... View Details


The Abridged History of Rainfall (McSweeney's Poetry Series)
by Jay Hopler (Author)

Jay Hopler's second collection, a mourning song for his father, is an elegy of uproar, a careening hymn to disaster and its aftermath. In lyric poems by turns droll and desolate, Hopler documents the struggle to live in the face of great loss, a task that sends him ranging through Florida's torrid subtropics, the mountains of the American West, the streets of Rome, and the Umbrian countryside. Vivid, dynamic, unrestrained: The Abridged History of Rainfall is a festival of glowing saints and fighting cocks, of firebombs and birdsong. View Details


A Clean Kill in Tokyo (Previously Published as Rain Fall) (A John Rain Novel)
by Barry Eisler (Author)

Previously published as Rain Fall Name John Rain Vocation Assassin Specialty Natural Causes Base of operations Tokyo Availability Worldwide Half American half Japanese expert in both worlds but at home in neither John Rain is the best killer money can buy You tell him who You tell him where He doesn t care about why Until he gets involved with Midori Kawamura a beautiful jazz pianist and the daughter of his latest kill Eisler provides a cracklingly good yarn well written deftly plotted and surprisingly appealing Thomas Perry and Lawrence Block need not retire their hit men quite yet but... View Details


Uni the Unicorn and the Dream Come True
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal (Author), Brigette Barrager (Illustrator)

Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Brigette Barrager reunite to bring us a sparkly, magical sequel to Uni the Unicorn!

     The Land of Unicorns is in trouble -- it has been raining and raining for what seems like forever. This is a big problem because there are only three ways that unicorns can get their magic: from the golden sun, from magnificent rainbows, and from the sparkle of believing.

     Luckily, Uni the Unicorn has always always always believed...that little girls are REAL. Join this very special unicorn and the little girl who believes right back as... View Details


Summer Rainfall (Harlequin Romance, 2019)
by Kerry Allyne (Author)

See pictures for conditon. Message me for more details/pics. View Details


Rainfall: State of the Science (Geophysical Monograph Series)
by Firat Y. Testik (Editor), Mekonnen Gebremichael (Editor)

Published by the American Geophysical Union as part of the Geophysical Monograph Series, Volume 191.

Rainfall: State of the Science
offers the most up-to-date knowledge on the fundamental and practical aspects of rainfall. Each chapter, self-contained and written by prominent scientists in their respective fields, provides three forms of information: fundamental principles, detailed overview of current knowledge and description of existing methods, and emerging techniques and future research directions.

The book discusses

Rainfall microphysics: raindrop... View Details


Rainfall-Runoff Modelling: The Primer
by Keith J. Beven (Author)

Rainfall-Runoff Modelling: The Primer, Second Edition is the follow-up of this popular and authoritative text, first published in 2001. The book provides both a primer for the novice and detailed descriptions of techniques for more advanced practitioners, covering rainfall-runoff models and their practical applications. This new edition extends these aims to include additional chapters dealing with prediction in ungauged basins, predicting residence time distributions, predicting the impacts of change and the next generation of hydrological models. Giving a comprehensive summary of... View Details


On a Magical Do-Nothing Day
by Beatrice Alemagna (Author), Beatrice Alemagna (Illustrator)

Give the gift of a magical do-nothing day!

This picture book with startlingly beautiful words and pictures will spur imagination and a break from boredom or screen time. Now a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year!

All I want to do on a rainy day like today is play my game. My mom says it’s a waste of time, but without my game, nothing is fun! On the other hand, maybe I’m wrong about that…

While reading On a Magical Do-Nothing Day, one gets the sense that the... View Details


Come On, Rain!
by Karen Hesse (Author), Jon J Muth (Illustrator)

"Come on, rain!" Tess pleads to the sky as listless vines and parched plants droop in the endless heat. Up and down the block, cats pant while heat wavers off tar patches in the broiling alleyway. More than anything, Tess hopes for rain. And when it comes, she and her friends are ready for a surprising joyous celebration.... Through exquisite language and acute observation, Newbery medalist Karen Hesse recreates the glorious experience of a quenching rainstorm on a sweltering summer day. Jon J Muth's masterful and lyrical watercolors perfectly reflect the spirit of the text. View Details


Financial Rainfall: A Supernatural Prayer Plan to Increase Finances In Every Area of Your Life
by Olusegun Festus Remilekun (Author)

Everyone uses money. We all want it, work for it, pray about it and think about it on daily basis. The Lord wants us to have financial freedom and fortunes genuinely. Money and wealth are important aspect of living. It is perfectly fine for Christians to become wealthy and there is nowhere in the Bible that forbids Christians from gaining or having large amounts of money. Somebody once told me that money is from the devil; that is a capital No! Money is from God. Haggai 2:8 says, ‘The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts.’’ Zechariah 1:17, ‘’Cry yet, Thus... View Details

Best Science Podcasts 2018

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2018. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Peering Deeper Into Space
The past few years have ushered in an explosion of new discoveries about our universe. This hour, TED speakers explore the implications of these advances — and the lingering mysteries of the cosmos. Guests include theoretical physicist Allan Adams, planetary scientist Sara Seager, and astrophysicists Natasha Hurley-Walker and Jedidah Isler.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#461 Adhesives
This week we're discussing glue from two very different times. We speak with Dr. Jianyu Li about his research into a new type of medical adhesive. And Dr. Geeske Langejans explains her work making and investigating Stone Age and Paleolithic glues.