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Malucelli F.,Servizio Geologico Sismico e dei Suoli | Certini G.,University of Florence | Scalenghe R.,University of Palermo
Land Use Policy | Year: 2014

Soil is a natural resource essential to human welfare by virtue of its numerous crucial functions. In the past, soil has been taken for granted because of its widespread, albeit finite, availability. However, now that world's population is projected to exceed ten billion before the end of this century, soil is increasingly perceived as a precious commodity. Consequently, soil is increasingly under pressure by rich private investors and governments within the poorest countries to satisfy appetites for food production and biofuel. A case study is used to explore the plausibility of soil being considered as 'brown gold'. Based on the comparison of land use maps, we estimated the value in terms of resource from raw material, carbon sink and virtual calories of the productive soil lost during the period 2003-2008 in the Emilia-Romagna Plain, one of the most productive areas of Italy. More than fifteen thousand hectares of cropland underwent land use change - in particular urbanization - over the 6-year period with an implied loss of crop production potential equivalent to the daily calorific requirement of more than 440,000 people. Taking into account that Italy is no longer self-sufficient in food production, such a loss appears to be strategically significant. Perhaps more importantly, urbanization and soil sealing has had negative ramifications on environmental sustainability, on both local and broad scales, with increased consumption of public funds. A logical framework of the socio-economic impact of land use change has been compiled and is presented as a possible example of a policy relevant approach to managing productive soils as a finite resource. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Ungaro F.,National Research Council Italy | Staffilani F.,Servizio Geologico Sismico e dei Suoli | Tarocco P.,Servizio Geologico Sismico e dei Suoli
Land Degradation and Development | Year: 2010

In order to assess the potential of soils as C reservoir at regional scale, accurate estimates of soil organic carbon (SOC) are required, and different approaches can be used. This study presents a method to assess and map topsoil organic carbon stock (Mg ha-1) at regional scale for the whole Emilia Romagna plain in Northern Italy (about 12 000 km2). A Scorpan Kriging approach is proposed, which combines the trend component of soil properties as derived from the 1:50 000 soil map with geostatistical modeling of the stochastic, locally varying but spatially correlated component. The trend component is described in terms of varying local means, calculated taking into account soil type and dominant land use. The resulting values of SOC, sand, silt, and clay contents are retained for calculating topsoil SOC stocks, using a set of locally calibrated pedotransfer functions (PTFs) to estimate bulk density. The maps of each soil attribute are validated over a subset of 2000 independent and randomly selected observations. As compared to the standard approach based on the mean values for delineation, results show lower standard errors for all the variables used for SOC stock assessment, with a relative improvement (RI) ranging from 4 per cent for SOC per cent to 24 per cent for silt. The total C stock (0-30 cm) in the study area is assessed as 73·24 ± 6·67 M t, with an average stock of 62·30 ± 5·55 Mg ha-1. The SOC stock estimates are used to infer possible SOC stock changes in terms of carbon sequestration potential and potential carbon loss (PCL). Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons.

Piacentini D.,Servizio Geologico Sismico e dei Suoli | Ercolessi G.,Servizio Geologico Sismico e dei Suoli | Pizziolo M.,Servizio Geologico Sismico e dei Suoli | Troiani F.,University of Rome La Sapienza
Journal of Maps | Year: 2015

Numerous mass movements of different typology characterize both mountainous and piedmont sectors of the Emilia-Romagna Region (Apennine chain, North Italy). Although a less spatially frequent landslide typology within the region, rock falls represent severe threats to buildings, roads and persons due to their high propagation velocity. This paper presents an extract of the Emilia-Romagna regional map of the rock fall runout areas at a scale of 1:25,000. The analysis of rock fall runout areas was based upon a three-dimensional morphological method (TDM). The zone presented in the Main Map encompasses the area surrounding Mount Cimone, in the Emilia-Romagna Region. The proposed regional map of rockfall runout is noteworthy for planning actions and strategies aimed at the prevention and reduction of landslide risk at a regional scale. © 2014, © 2014 Daniela Piacentini.

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