Application of the 137 Cs technique to quantify soil redistribution rates in paleohumults from Central-South Chile



The objective of the present study was to evaluate the applicability of the 137Cs technique in obtaining spatial distributed information on mean soil redistribution rates in Central-South Chile. For this purpose four fields of Palehumult soil and contrasting land use and management were selected in the Coastal Mountain Range of the 9th Region: Crop fields under subsistence and commercial management and non-permanent prairies under subsistence and commercial management. The spatial distribution of the soil redistribution rates obtained by the 137Cs method was similar to the one obtained by pedological observations. Also, annual sediment fluxes measured at experimental plots were similar to the erosion rates determined by the 137Cs method at adjacent points. The 137Cs technique is seen as an efficient method to obtain long-term soil redistribution rates under the climatic conditions and the soil type selected in Chile. In the future, it is necessary to study the applicability of the method under other climatic conditions and soil types occurring in Chile in which erosion is not so evident, and to adjust the method to optimise costs and benefits.

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