Agricultural terraces are often subject to degradation issues related to water movement. A better understanding of the main hydrological processes that govern surface and subsurface water flow pathways and that are responsible for terrace failure and dry-stone wall collapse is essential for appropriate water resource management and rural landscape maintenance in terraced areas. However, a clear conceptualization of different hydrological functioning related to wall instability issues is still missing. In this study, we monitored a terrace system in a hilly site of central Italy cultivated with vineyards. We adopted a multidisciplinary approach based on soil analysis, different geophysical techniques, hydrological monitoring, high-resolution grid terrain analysis and field experiments (infiltration and flooding tests) aiming to: (i) obtain new information of terrace soil and subsoil structure; (ii) test the hypothesis on wall instability based on the formation of preferential flow and water accumulation behind the wall; and (iii) develop a conceptual model of water circulation in agricultural terraces. Our results indicate that terrace soil was highly heterogeneous, including discontinuities and piping systems that facilitated a rapid infiltration and the development of fast subsurface flow. Groundwater rise did not occur, as observed in other terraced sites, but infiltrated water accumulated behind dry-stone walls, increasing pore water pressure and inducing wall bulging and instability. Our findings provided new field evidences of water circulation and led to the definition of a novel paradigm of hydrological functioning of farming terraced systems for addressing more efficient management and maintenance issues in these vulnerable landscapes.

Conceptualization of Water Flow Pathways in Agricultural Terraced Landscapes / Federico, Preti; Enrico, Guastini; Daniele, Penna; Andrea, Dani; Giorgio, Cassiani; Jacopo, Boaga; Rita, Deiana; Nunzio, Romano; Paolo, Nasta; Mario, Palladino; Alessandro, Errico; Yamuna, Giambastiani; Paolo, Trucchi; Paolo, Tarolli. - In: LAND DEGRADATION & DEVELOPMENT. - ISSN 1099-145X. - STAMPA. - 29:(2018), pp. 651-662. [10.1002/ldr.2764]

Conceptualization of Water Flow Pathways in Agricultural Terraced Landscapes

PRETI, FEDERICO
;
GUASTINI, ENRICO;PENNA, DANIELE;DANI, ANDREA;ERRICO, ALESSANDRO;GIAMBASTIANI, YAMUNA;TRUCCHI, PAOLO;
2018

Abstract

Agricultural terraces are often subject to degradation issues related to water movement. A better understanding of the main hydrological processes that govern surface and subsurface water flow pathways and that are responsible for terrace failure and dry-stone wall collapse is essential for appropriate water resource management and rural landscape maintenance in terraced areas. However, a clear conceptualization of different hydrological functioning related to wall instability issues is still missing. In this study, we monitored a terrace system in a hilly site of central Italy cultivated with vineyards. We adopted a multidisciplinary approach based on soil analysis, different geophysical techniques, hydrological monitoring, high-resolution grid terrain analysis and field experiments (infiltration and flooding tests) aiming to: (i) obtain new information of terrace soil and subsoil structure; (ii) test the hypothesis on wall instability based on the formation of preferential flow and water accumulation behind the wall; and (iii) develop a conceptual model of water circulation in agricultural terraces. Our results indicate that terrace soil was highly heterogeneous, including discontinuities and piping systems that facilitated a rapid infiltration and the development of fast subsurface flow. Groundwater rise did not occur, as observed in other terraced sites, but infiltrated water accumulated behind dry-stone walls, increasing pore water pressure and inducing wall bulging and instability. Our findings provided new field evidences of water circulation and led to the definition of a novel paradigm of hydrological functioning of farming terraced systems for addressing more efficient management and maintenance issues in these vulnerable landscapes.
29
651
662
Federico, Preti; Enrico, Guastini; Daniele, Penna; Andrea, Dani; Giorgio, Cassiani; Jacopo, Boaga; Rita, Deiana; Nunzio, Romano; Paolo, Nasta; Mario, Palladino; Alessandro, Errico; Yamuna, Giambastiani; Paolo, Trucchi; Paolo, Tarolli
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/1100574
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