Earth surface processes and landforms vol:24 issue:8 pages:693-706
The objective of this study is to explore in a critical way the potential of high-altitude (stereo) aerial photographs for the assessment of ephemeral gully erosion rates. On 28 May 1995, an intensive rainfall event (30 mm h(-1) during 30 min, return period = 3 years) occurred in central Belgium. Ephemeral gullies formed within an area of 218 ha (study area 1) were mapped and measured both in the field and by high-altitude aerial photos taken at the same time. Comparison of these two methods shows that if only one of the two surveying techniques had been used, only 75 per cent of the total ephemeral gully length would have been detected, so that the combination of aerial and field data leads, in fact, to the best possible determination of total gully length within the selected area. A correction factor (C) is proposed, so that the results of an ephemeral gully erosion survey based on high-altitude (stereo) aerial photos can be adjusted for the undetected gullies.