The cultivation of steep slopes is a widespread practice in hilly and mountainous areas around the world. Such environments often result in particular agricultural systems linked with unique local values of historical and cultural heritage, economy, and food security. However, steep‐slope agriculture is inherently exposed to slope instability processes, which are now widely aggravated due to natural (e.g., growing rainfall aggressiveness) and anthropogenic factors (e.g., unsuitable maintenance or agronomic practices). In the literature, among the many articles published on soil erosion, a specific focus on the analysis of slope instabilities in steep cultivation systems is lacking. The purpose of this article is, therefore, to create a specific overview of this problem, with some useful insights into the role of remote sensing. We introduce the problem first, highlighting the main issues related to slope instabilities in steep cultivated areas. Then we provided a classification of key published papers, based on the different types of mass movements studied and their location in the world. The spatial comparison of past research and estimated global hazard of the mass movement in agricultural areas highlighted a relevant bias: a strong scientific focus on southern European countries, yet large rural areas are at risk on all continents, many of these unexplored by science. The third section is related to the contribution of remote sensing technologies (e.g., LiDAR and RPAS photogrammetry) in mapping the investigated processes. This study could help to guide future research for better management of such socio‐economically relevant agricultural landscapes.

Slope instabilities in steep cultivation systems: Process classification and opportunities from remote sensing

Paolo Tarolli
;
Anton Pijl;Sara Cucchiaro;
2021

Abstract

The cultivation of steep slopes is a widespread practice in hilly and mountainous areas around the world. Such environments often result in particular agricultural systems linked with unique local values of historical and cultural heritage, economy, and food security. However, steep‐slope agriculture is inherently exposed to slope instability processes, which are now widely aggravated due to natural (e.g., growing rainfall aggressiveness) and anthropogenic factors (e.g., unsuitable maintenance or agronomic practices). In the literature, among the many articles published on soil erosion, a specific focus on the analysis of slope instabilities in steep cultivation systems is lacking. The purpose of this article is, therefore, to create a specific overview of this problem, with some useful insights into the role of remote sensing. We introduce the problem first, highlighting the main issues related to slope instabilities in steep cultivated areas. Then we provided a classification of key published papers, based on the different types of mass movements studied and their location in the world. The spatial comparison of past research and estimated global hazard of the mass movement in agricultural areas highlighted a relevant bias: a strong scientific focus on southern European countries, yet large rural areas are at risk on all continents, many of these unexplored by science. The third section is related to the contribution of remote sensing technologies (e.g., LiDAR and RPAS photogrammetry) in mapping the investigated processes. This study could help to guide future research for better management of such socio‐economically relevant agricultural landscapes.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.
Pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3357269
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 11
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 13
social impact