Veerle Vanacker

Veerle Vanacker
Université Catholique de Louvain - UCLouvain | UCLouvain · Faculty of Science

PhD in Sciences

About

162
Publications
50,127
Reads
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4,870
Citations
Citations since 2016
74 Research Items
3160 Citations
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20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500
Introduction
Veerle Vanacker‟s research focuses on the impact of natural and anthropogenic disturbances on water and sediment fluxes. She commonly uses integrated approaches that combine spatial information from remote sensing with geochemical tracers and geomorphological models to quantify human-environment interactions.
Additional affiliations
August 2015 - November 2015
Secretaria Nacional De Educación Superior, Ciencia, Tecnología E Innovación Del Ecuador
Secretaria Nacional De Educación Superior, Ciencia, Tecnología E Innovación Del Ecuador
Position
  • Visiting Scientist
February 2014 - September 2014
KU Leuven
Position
  • Lecturer
October 2010 - present
Université Catholique de Louvain - UCLouvain
Position
  • Advanced physical geography - LGEO2140 [5 ECTS]

Publications

Publications (162)
Article
The tropical Andes has been less studied in terms of erosion processes in comparison to other major mountain ranges in the world. Environmental gradients are steepest along the western flank of the Andes that is characterized by marked differences in vegetation, rough topography with deeply incised canyons, and highly variable and extreme precipita...
Article
Forest degradation is a gradual process through which the forest’s biomass declines, the species composition and vertical complexity change and the soil physicochemical properties degrade. Evaluating forest degradation is challenging, as it needs measurable indicators in order to compare different states of degraded forest with forests in optimal c...
Article
Traditional hydrometric data combined with environmental tracers such as water stable isotopes contributes to improve the understanding of catchment hydrology. Nevertheless, the application of isotopic tracers in headwater catchments of the tropical Andes with deep soils and permeable parent material influenced by recent volcanism remains limited....
Article
Late Quaternary fluvial valley development in Peru is considered to be driven by summer insolation maxima in the precession cycle, which coincide with increased precipitation and rising lake levels in the central Andes. Our literature review, however, indicates that fluvial aggradation does not always coincide with summer insolation maxima but may...
Preprint
Full-text available
Vegetation plays a key role in the hydrological and biogeochemical cycles. It can influence soil water fluxes and transport which are critical for chemical weathering and soil development. In this study, we investigated soil water balance and solute fluxes in two soil profiles with different vegetation types (cushion-forming plants vs. tussock gras...
Article
Full-text available
Soil hydraulic properties control the provision of hydrological services. Vegetation and topography influence these properties by altering soil structure and porosity. The underlying mechanisms are not yet fully understood for the high Andean region. In this study, we examined how vegetation and topographic attributes are related to soil hydraulic...
Article
Full-text available
Islands are particularly vulnerable to the effects of land cover change due to their limited size and remoteness. This study analyzes vegetation cover change in the agricultural area of Santa Cruz (Galapagos Archipelago) between 1961 and 2018. To reconstruct multitemporal land cover change from existing land cover products, a multisource data integ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Pleistocene braided river deposits commonly represent long periods of non-deposition or erosion that are interrupted by rapid and short aggradation phases. When dating these sedimentary sequences with in-situ produced cosmic radionuclides (CRN), simple concentration-depth profiling approaches fall often short as they assume that the alluvial sedime...
Article
Full-text available
To expand the knowledge base on natural infrastructure for erosion mitigation in the Andes, it is necessary to move beyond case by case empirical studies to comprehensive assessments. This study reviews the state of evidence on the effectiveness of interventions to mitigate soil erosion by water and is based on Andean case studies published in gray...
Article
The Dry Chaco is a semi-arid ecoregion in South America that hosts one of the largest dry forests in the world, but expansion of dryland agriculture and cattle ranching led to gradual conversion of native vegetation to anthropogenic land cover. The potential impact of these newly established agricultural lands on the surrounding environment is of g...
Article
Constraining depositional phases in braided river deposits can be challenging if only based on sedimentology or geochronology. In this paper, we explored how different data sources can provide complementary information on the depositional history of Pleistocene fluvial deposits. The study was realized on the Zutendaal gravels that outcrop in Northe...
Article
Full-text available
The Dry Chaco in South America is a semi-arid ecoregion prone to dryland salinization. In this region, we investigated coarse-scale surface soil moisture ( SM ), soil temperature, soil salinity, and vegetation, using L-band microwave brightness temperature ( T<sub>B</sub> ) observations and retrievals from the soil moisture ocean salinity (SMOS)...
Preprint
Full-text available
Soil erosion by water is affecting natural and anthropogenic environments through its impacts on water quality and availability, loss of soil nutrients, flood risk, sedimentation in rivers and streams, and damage to civil infrastructure. Sustainable management aims to avoid, reduce and reverse soil erosion and can provide multiple benefits for the...
Technical Report
Full-text available
RESUMEN DE INVESTIGACIÓN: Este documento resume los resultados de una revisión sistemática sobre los impactos de la infraestructura natural para la gestión de riesgos de erosión e inundaciones en los Andes (detallados en Molina et al., 2021). Para evaluar la efectividad de las intervenciones sobre la infraestructura natural para la gestión de riesg...
Article
Full-text available
Mountainous regions are globally important, in part because they support large populations and are biodiverse. They are also characterized by enhanced vulnerability to anthropogenic pressures and sensitivity to climate change. This importance necessitates the development of a global reference network of long-term environmental and socioeconomic mon...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Para poder evaluar el estado del conocimiento respecto al impacto de las intervenciones sobre la infraestructura natural en la erosión hídrica, los movimientos en masa de origen hídrico y las inundaciones en la región andina, se realizó una revisión sistemática de la literatura científica que incluye más de 137 estudios de casos locales. En esta re...
Presentation
Full-text available
We compare the soil organic carbon content and stocks under two vegetation types in ecuadorian paramos. Results suggest that cushion plants increase soil organic carbon concentration, but decrease the stored stock due to a lowered soil bulk density
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic activity leading to forest structural and functional changes needs specific ecological indicators and monitoring techniques. Since decades, forest structure, composition, biomass, and functioning have been studied with ground-based forest inventories. Nowadays, satellites survey the earth, producing imagery at different spatial and te...
Article
Full-text available
Citation / Cómo citar este artículo: Vanacker, V., Guns, M., Clapuyt, F., Balthazar, V., Tenorio, G., Molina, A. (2020). Spatio-temporal patterns of landslides and erosion in tropical andean catchments. Pirineos, 175, e051. https://doi. ABSTRACT: Tropical mountain regions are prone to high erosion rates, due to the occurrence of heavy rainfall ev...
Article
Full-text available
Humans are primary agents of geomorphic change, and rates of anthropogenic landscape change likely far exceed the pace of change expected from natural geologic processes. Nevertheless, our understanding of the impact of humans on the natural landscape is limited by difficulties in accurately comparing past and present rates of change across wide sp...
Article
Full-text available
Landscape evolution models can be used to assess the impact of rainfall variability on bedrock river incision over millennial timescales. However, isolating the role of rainfall variability remains difficult in natural environments, in part because environmental controls on river incision such as lithological heterogeneity are poorly constrained. I...
Article
Full-text available
Soil thickness and residence time are regulated by a dynamic interplay between soil formation and lateral transport of soil particles and solutes. To unravel this interplay and infer patterns and rates of chemical weathering, soil physical and chemical properties can be used. Here, we present an integrated approach combining numerical modeling with...
Article
The chronostratigraphy of the typical quartz-rich white sands that are intensively quarried in the Campine area, northeastern Belgium, is poorly constrained. In the absence of biostratigraphical data, the age of the deposits, traditionally assigned to the Mol Formation, is thought to be late Pliocene based on sequence stratigraphical correlations (...
Poster
Full-text available
In high elevation tropical Andean ecosystems (páramos) little is still known about vegetation feedbacks on soil properties. At high elevation páramos (above 4100m), it is possible to find high diversity and co-dominance of plant species over short distances. In these landscapes, cushion plants and tussock grasses dominate alongside shrubs. These ve...
Article
Full-text available
In the 1990s, some districts in the Northern Vietnamese highlands were opened for international tourism. The development of tourism was expected to bring a new income source to remote mountain areas. This paper analyzes the association between tourism development, local livelihoods and land cover change at the household level. Sa Pa district was se...
Article
Full-text available
Sustained accelerated soil erosion alters key soil properties such as nutrient availability, water holding capacity, soil depth and texture, which in turn have detrimental effects on crop productivity and therefore reduce C input to soils. In this study, we applied a 1-D soil profile model that links soil organic carbon (SOC) turnover, soil erosion...
Article
Recent changes in global climate, and especially changes in precipitation patterns, may negatively impact on siltation of Andean storage reservoirs, thereby putting at risk the provision of resources to the local population. The extent to which this may happen is poorly understood. We therefore studied the catchment of the Cañete River in the weste...
Preprint
Full-text available
Process-based geomorphic transport laws enable to assess the impact of rainfall variability on bedrock river incision over geological timescales. However, isolating the role of rainfall variability on erosion remains difficult in natural environments in part because the variability of rock strength and its resistance to incision are poorly constrai...
Article
Full-text available
Tectonic and geomorphic processes drive landscape evolution over different spatial and temporal scales. In mountainous environments, river incision sets the pace of landscape evolution, and hillslopes respond to channel incision by, e.g., gully retreat, bank erosion, and landslides. Sediment produced during stochastic landslide events leads to mobi...
Article
Full-text available
Images captured by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and processed by structure-from-motion (SfM) photogrammetry are increasingly used in geomorphology to obtain high-resolution topography data. Conventional georeferencing using ground control points (GCPs) provides reliable positioning, but the geometrical accuracy critically depends on the number a...
Article
In the Northern Vietnamese Mountains, paddy fields are the main source of foods and an important indicator to define wealth in ethnic communities. This paper deals with an application of multilevel model to predict spatial patterns of paddy field productivity according to hierarchical levels such as individual fields, individual households and indi...
Article
Topography is one of the key factors controlling soil erosion and redistribution of pedogenic material along slope. Land cover change can have an accelerating or retarding impact on topographically-controlled soil erosion rates, depending on the type and intensity of land use and management. In this study, we investigated the combined effect of hil...
Article
Full-text available
Several Andean countries have planned to restore forest cover in degraded land to enhance the provision of multiple ecosystem services in response to international commitments such as the Bonn Challenge. Hydrological services, e.g. water supply, hydrological regulation and erosion mitigation, are particularly important to sustain the life of more t...
Article
Full-text available
Although climate exerts a major control on mineral weathering and soil formation processes, the combined effect of vegetation and topography can influence the rate and extent of chemical weathering at the hillslope scale. In this paper, we examined spatial patterns in volumetric strain and soil weathering extent associated with topographic gradient...
Article
Full-text available
Images captured by Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and processed by Structure from Motion (SfM) photogrammetry are increasingly used in geomorphology to obtain high resolution topography data. Conventional georeferencing using ground control points (GCPs) provides reliable positioning but the geometrical accuracy critically depends on the number and...
Article
Full-text available
Tectonic and geomorphic processes drive landscape evolution over different spatial and temporal scales. In mountainous environments, river incision sets the pace of landscape evolution, and hillslopes respond to channel incision by e.g. gully retreat, bank erosion and landslides. Sediment produced during stochastic landslide events leads to mobilis...
Article
Full-text available
Ecuador is one of the first countries worldwide that set the environment as a national priority. To support such commitment, the Ministry of Environment of Ecuador launched the Socio Bosque Program in 2008 with the double objective of nature conservation and poverty alleviation. A major concern for sustainable development in mainland Ecuador is the...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Conversion of shaded agroforests to unshaded monocultures endangers the resilience of tropical landscapes. Landscape-scale impacts of alternative shade managements have rarely been assessed. This study explored plantation- and landscape-level impacts of different shade management strategies on aboveground biomass, functional group diversity...
Preprint
Full-text available
During the last centuries, forest clearance has led to an increase of the erosion rates by one to two orders of magnitude. Sustained accelerated soil erosion alters key soil properties such as nutrient, water availability, soil depth and soil texture, which in turns have detrimental effects on crop yields and therefore reduce C input to soils. In t...
Article
Full-text available
Gully erosion is an important process of land degradation in mountainous regions, and is known to be one of the major sediment sources in eroded catchments. Recent studies have suggested that living and dead vegetation can be effective for ecosystem restoration, and large-scale restoration projects have been implemented in the tropical Andes in rec...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A balance between tectonic and geomorphic processes drives landscape evolution, over different spatial and temporal scales. In mountainous environments, the river network sets the pace of landscape evolution, and hillslopes respond to river incision by e.g. gully retreat, bank erosion and mass wasting. The sediment produced during stochastic landsl...
Article
Mountains play an important role in the denudation of continents and transfer erosion and weathering products to lowlands and oceans. The rates at which erosion and weathering processes take place in mountain regions have a substantial impact on the morphology and biogeochemistry of downstream reaches and lowlands. The controlling factors of physic...
Article
Full-text available
Accurately assessing geo-hazards and quantifying landslide risks in mountainous environments are gaining importance in the context of the ongoing global warming. For an in-depth understanding of slope failure mechanisms, accurate monitoring of the mass movement topography at high spatial and temporal resolutions remains essential. The choice of the...
Article
Full-text available
The rate at which low-lying sandy areas in temperate regions, such as the Campine Plateau (NE Belgium), have been eroding during the Quaternary is a matter of debate. Current knowledge on the average pace of landscape evolution in the Campine area is largely based on geological inferences and modern analogies. We performed a Bayesian inversion of a...
Article
Meteoric ¹⁰Be is commonly used as a geochemical tracer of soil erosion and regolith residence time over long time scales (> 10³ yr). The acidic conditions of tropical soils are less favorable for meteoric ¹⁰Be retention, and make a translation of meteoric ¹⁰Be inventories into surface erosion rates complex. In this empirical study, we evaluate the...
Article
During the last millennia, anthropogenic land cover change has caused a significant release of carbon from soils while also accelerating rates of soil erosion by one to two orders of magnitude. However, mechanistic frameworks that explicitly link land cover change, erosion and soil organic carbon (SOC) cycling and, in addition, can be applied to lo...