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Robust and accessible modelling for an effective management of agricultural soil erosion in Europe . (iMPACt-erosion)

Soil erosion modelling can help define efficient and targeted mitigation strategies by identifying the long-term controlling factors and the areas where, and periods during which, soil is at high risk of erosion. However, to define such strategies, there remains a lack of modelling approaches a) able to provide with longer term baseline information which to measure the success or otherwise of mitigation strategies at the catchment scale and b) accessible and robust enough to be used, understood, and trusted by users with more or less expertise, including researchers, land managers and policy makers. In response, this project will improve the robustness and accessibility of quantitative methods for supporting agricultural land management. For this purpose, we will develop a parsimonious soil erosion model, iMPACt-erosion, to support agricultural land management in Europe at the catchment scale. The development philosophy will be based on three principles: robustness, transparency, and accessibility. For a robust model evaluation, model simulations will be compared to multi-decadal soil loss estimations estimated from fallout radionuclides and tree mound measurements. The model and its code will be easy to read and understand by users with more or less expertise. The model accessibility will be achieved by using interactive Jupyter Notebooks (, a modelling environment that combines executable code, rich media and interactive visualization of data and model results. This translates into a more fluent conversation between the user and the model and an easier exploration of the model results and the impact of possible agricultural management scenarios.

Universidad de Córdoba

1. to develop an accessible and transparent soil erosion model, iMPACt-erosion, to support agricultural land management in Europe at the catchment scale.
2. to achieve greater confidence in the iMPACt-erosion model predictions by evaluating its performance both in terms of model behaviour, i.e. whether the ‘right' parameters control the model response, and in simulating observed past changes and their corresponding measured/estimated erosion impacts over time scales that encompass at least several decades.
3. to identify soil erosion controlling processes and vulnerable areas and periods to define targeted and effective mitigation strategies until 2100.

University of Cordoba is involved in all the of the project, leading work packages 1, 2 and 4:

WP 1. Management and Training + Knowledge transfer
WP 2. Model development
WP 3. Model evaluation
WP 4. Future scenarios simulation.
WP 5. Dissemination, communication and exploitation


Code PAIDI: AGR-127

Tom Vanwalleghem . Coordinador/Supervisor. 

Universidad de Córdoba

Budget of Andalusian group: € 226,441.20

Keywords: knowledge transfer; model reproducibility; global sensitivity analysis
Duration: 30 months. February, 1th 2023 to July, 31th 2025
Project cost: € 226,441.20