Land Degradation Within the Bahluieţ Catchment

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Abstract

The Bahluieţ catchment, located in the Moldavian Plateau, at the contact between the Jijia Rolling Plain, the Suceava Plateau and the Central Moldavian Plateau, has 54,866 hectares in size. The sculptural landforms are prevailing, described by elongated rolling hills, and are underlain by the Bessarabian layers laid in marine brackish facies. In turn, the typical plateau relief (Coasta Iasilor and the eastern border of the Suceava Plateau) is developed in coastal facies also Bessarabian in age.

This paper focuses on the spatial distribution and intensity of land degradation processes and associated controlling factors within the Bahluieţ catchment. The most characteristic geomorphological processes, playing an essential role in the morphogenesis of the landforms are soil erosion and landslides, while gully erosion and sedimentation have a reduced intensity.

Soil erosion is ubiquitous, being the process with the highest extension. Therefore, the soils on the arable land, affected by moderate-excessive erosion, hold a weight of 38%. The slopes subjected to landslides are stretching on 19,040 ha, representing 35% of the studied area. Nowadays, most landslides show high degree of stability, due to the drier period of time since 1982. The gully erosion has a reduced incidence resulting from the prevailing Bessarabian clayey-sandy facies. The average rate of sedimentation in reservoirs, after the year 1986, is around 2 cm yr-1.

Land degradation within the Bahluieţ catchment occurs on steeper slopes, mainly in the shape of cuesta fronts, usually northern and western facing, but also on some degraded cuesta back slopes.

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