A REVIEW ON SHEET EROSION MEASUREMENTS IN HUNGARY
JAKAB Gergely1, SZABÓ Judit2, SZALAI Zoltán1,2
1Geographical Institute RCAES, HAS
Budaörsi út 45., 1112 Budapest e-mail: email@example.com
2Dept. of Environmental and Landscape Geography, Eötvös Loránd University
Pázmány Péter sétány 1/C., 1117 Budapest, Hungary
Keywords: soil loss, scaling, methodological diversity, national database
Abstract: Soil erosion has a significant role in ecology, economy and in environmental protection therefore its
quantification and prediction are very important, particularly on a national level. Although some details can be
described using physical equations, the entire soil erosion process is rather complicated and can be determined
only empirically, which requires large measured datasets. Because plot measurement is the most convenient and
therefore the most popular way of capturing erosion data, we used plot measurement to understand erosion in
Hungary. The northern and the western parts of the country are endangered by sheet erosion, which is why the
plots were carried out in those areas. Most of the plots were constructed to determine the “K” factor of the USLE
(Universal Soil Loss Equation) under permanently tilled soils without vegetation cover. Additionally the soil
protection effect of various field crops and the additional land use types (forest, pasture) was measured in the
plots. Furthermore descriptive investigations, rainfall simulations and soil tracer detections were also used to
quantify sheet erosion at different environmental conditions and scales. Despite the large amount of measured
data collected, only a few of them have since been published. Due to a lack of available data, national erosion
research, erosion prediction, and model calibration are less precise and effective Scaling problems among the
measured levels also emphasized a definite need for a larger and more accessible national database. Finally,
without the financial base of additional plot measurements, the publication of the previously gathered data is
absolutely necessary to continue soil erosion studies in Hungary.
Soil erosion is a global problem that affects—with varying intensity—most of the cultivated
areas of the world. The pressures of an increasing population have led both to food that is
produced intensively on existing farmland and to the involvement of new areas into intensive
tillage operations (RHODES 2014). Consequently, since soil is a conditionally renewable re-
source, soil erosion hazards can be a ticking time bomb for a country’s security.
The success of avoiding and remediating soil erosion depends on the detailed
knowledge of the sub-processes involved in erosion. Useful models are accessible only when
large amounts of measured results are available.
Since soil erosion is a rather complex phenomena contingent on the temporary interac-
tions of various environmental parameters, even the basic processes vary within a particular
area. To apply a general and adequate soil erosion model in the landscape and to gain the best
results, it must be calibrated and validated with local data first. Accordingly the very best soil
erosion model can present inadequate results because of the lack of previous calibration and
validation. Therefore each country has almost a responsibility to gather as much and as high
quality place-specific erosion data as it is possible.
The case of Hungary is very unique from this point of view because two thirds of the
country is used agriculturally and widespread loose sediment parent material makes the soils
especially prone to erosion. Although the area of the country (ca. 93,000 km2) is smaller than
the average traditionally agricultural country in the EU, a wide range of erosion processes can
be found and often parallel to each other. The flatter, continental parts of Hungary are often
afflicted by wind erosion and even by "berm erosion" on salt affected alkali flats (TÓTH et al.
2015), while the hilly parts are eroded by both sheet and gully erosion. The varying landscape
and climate results in a rather complex mosaic pattern of soil erosion processes with very high
90 JAKAB G., SZABÓ J., SZALAI Z.
spatial diversity (CENTERI 2002c, KERTÉSZ and CENTERI 2006). This spatial diversity makes
the up- and downscaling of the measured data considerably difficult both over time (DE
VENTE and POESEN 2005) and among scales (STROOSNIJDER 2005).
The aim of this paper is to review the efforts of soil erosion measurements in Hungary
and compare the published results. To do so, the focus is solely on sheet erosion, even though
gully (JAKAB et al. 2009, KERTÉSZ and JAKAB 2011), wind (NÉGYESI et al. 2014) and fluvial
(SZALAI et al. 2013) erosion also have a very important impact on recent landscape develop-
ment of Hungary.
Measuring soil erosion
Most of Hungary’s soil erosion history has occurred from natural phenomena and is of limited
interest to this study. However anthropogenic soil erosion events and processes have in-
creased in the last century due to intensive farming practices (SZILASSI et al. 2006). Therefore
soil loss as a potential danger, rising in the 20th century, directed attention to erosion process-
es. From a theoretical standpoint the history of soil erosion research was divided to three main
groups by the authors described below: (1) descriptive studies, (2) process oriented studies,
(3) complex studies. This classification is subjective reflecting the progressive attitude of man
to the nature over time.
In the first part of the 20th century soil erosion was considered more of a cause of recent land-
scape morphology rather than a process, which detaches soil particles and moves them else-
where. Because of this common consideration, a detailed survey of the current status of soil
erosion in Hungary seemed to be more prescient than investigations of the processes of its
present soil erosion. Results of the survey were soil erosion maps constructed and produced at
various scales from national (DUCK 1960, STEFANOVITS 1964) to larger scales (DUCK 1966,
ÁDÁM 1967). Additionally, case studies were carried out in order to measure nutrient distribu-
tions along different slopes due to sheet erosion on various soil types (MATTYASOVSZKY and
At that time, soil erosion was considered as an effect, which mitigated soil fertility
hence caused economical damages. Its role as an environmental hazard had not yet been rec-
ognized. On the other hand the role of human activity was identified as the main purpose of
accelerated erosion increase. Consequently significant efforts were made for erosion preven-
tion and soil protection theories and practices (FEKETE 1953).
Although process oriented investigations have become more popular since the 70s, de-
scriptive studies were still popular. In that time KERÉNYI (1984a) introduced a new way of
soil erosion surveying and mapping in which he took rill and gully erosion into account in
order to determine the real rate of accumulated soil loss. Since this type of survey needed sig-
nificantly more effort it did not become widespread.
Process oriented studies
While descriptive investigations increased a need arose to understand the processes involved
in generating soil erosion. This led to increasing attention being paid to monitoring and mod-
elling studies. Soil erosion monitoring was carried out with the construction of measuring
equipment that could quantify runoff and soil loss values due to natural precipitation events.
These techniques aimed at measuring soil losses at different spatial scales since it became
A review on sheet erosion measurements in Hungary 91
evident right away that the results of different scales are hardly comparable to each other
The small-scale investigations were based on monitoring sediment traps at catchment
outlets (SZŰCS 2012), creeks or rivers (DEZSÉNY and LENDVAI 1986). In the 80s the water
quality of Lake Balaton—because the lake was a very popular destination—decreased dramat-
ically, becoming a major problem. Although water pollution was partly due to the lack of
sewerage, attention was focused on the erosion processes in the Balaton watershed (DEZSÉNY
and LENDVAI 1986). At this point in time measurements were concentrated on the surface
water quality of the streams in the catchment in which phosphate received the primary interest
In the early 90s, a country wide catena scale monitoring program was designed and
partly constructed by the National Soil Monitoring Network (TIM) (VÁRALLYAY 1994). In
this study metal sheets of 1 m2 were placed into the soil at exactly 60 cm from the surface
parallel to various geomorphological positions—mainly on ridges, footslopes and midslopes.
The changes of soil depth above the metal sheet referred the dynamics of erosion or deposi-
tion processes (NOVÁKY 2001). Although in this study the construction took the main part of
the budget—maintenance being nearly negligible—monitoring stopped because of financial
difficulties. Moreover there are very limited data published from the short monitoring period
(18 stations, 3 slope positions and 3 recording times). These data partly reflect the obscurity
of the first year results manifested in a few cm changes in both directions at the same place
Measuring in situ soil erosion this method is currently the most widespread of the world.
Many sites can be found in Europe with large amounts of published data (VACCA et al. 2000,
JANKAUSKAS and JANKAUSKIENE 2003, CERDAN et al. 2006, GONZÁLEZ-HIDALGO et al. 2007) and
many countries neighboring Hungary have well documented monitoring results such as Ro-
mania (IONITA et al. 2006), Slovakia (STANKOVIANSKY et al. 2006) and Slovenia (HRVATIN et al.
2006). Theoretically plot measurement can provide data on a wide variety of scales even
though data is typically recorded at micro and smaller scaled investigations (STROOSNIJDER
Hungary is situated on the border of 3 climatic zones therefore the whole country can-
not be described as one unit. The SE part (The Great Plain) is continental and has the least
amount of precipitation (less than 500mm year-1) and a high yearly mean temperature fluctua-
tion (20°C). The Western part is the wettest while the SW has a slight Mediterranean influ-
ence (DÖVÉNYI 2010).
The size of the published plots varies from 2 to 1200 m2 due to different purposes
(KAZÓ (1966a) reported about the advantages and disadvantages of in situ measurements on
various plot sizes). In accordance with topography and pedology the most endangered spots
can be found mainly in the western and the northern parts of the country (KERTÉSZ and
CENTERI 2006) (Figure 1). In these areas the soils concerned are Luvisols and Lithosols on the
higher parts and Cambisols on the hills. The most investigated land use type is arable land,
especially black fallow or continuous seedbed conditions, however, forest cover has also been
investigated (BÁNKY 1959b).
92 JAKAB G., SZABÓ J., SZALAI Z.
Figure 1. Location of plot measurements in Hungary
1. ábra A parcellás mérések elhelyezkedése hazánkban
The appearance of the USLE concept (WISCHMEIER and SMITH 1978) provided a
standard way for sheet erosion measurement. Its high efficiency was associated with easy
applicability, which is why the USLE method became widely accepted even in Hungary be-
hind the iron curtain. Although considerable more plot measurement data was registered and
stored this study focuses on only ten locations on the basis of seventeen publications. Most of
the measured data are still unavailable since they manifested only in manuscripts even though
some of them contain data that covers long periods of time (more than 10 years continuous
Some of the sources present single precipitation induced runoff and soil loss values,
other reveal derived values (e.g. soil erodibility (K) factor from the USLE) (Table 1). A
common problem in sources from former times was the exchangeability and comparability of
the presented data due to the lack of certain precipitation parameters or soil bulk density. The
bulk density of soil loss is generally much less than that of the in situ soil, hence soil loss val-
ues presented in bulk units are hardly comparable to those of weight units.
The most accepted calculation methods concern an annual period even though often a
few precipitation events result almost in the total amount of annual soil loss. This phenome-
non is typical for semiarid regions such as the Mediterranean but due to climate change it is
becoming even more frequent even in Hungary. Accordingly the same sediment gathering
infrastructure has to collect and store sediment and soil loss of various orders of magnitude.
This is why there is no completely accepted and widespread sediment collector equipment in
Hungary—even the most up to date devices can not handle extreme events, which often caus-
es data loss.
Table 1. Plot measurement properties in Hungary The presented values are means. (K: soil erodibility factor of the USLE; R: rain
erosivity factor of the USLE; A: soil loss; RR: runoff rate; question mark refers to ambiguous data)
1. táblázat Magyarországi parcellás eróziómérések A pulikált eredmények átlagok. (K: USLE erodálhatósági tényez; R: USLE
esenergia tényez; A: talajveszteség; RR: lefolyási ráta; a kérdjel kétes adatot jelöl)
plots Soil Land use
K factor 1×8 10
Leptosols Black fallow 1990-
1997 14 K values for five soils KERTÉSZ and RICHTER 1997;
KERTÉSZ et al. 2004,
K, C factors 2×22 4 Cambisol
Pasture 1999 9 K=0.034 TÓTH et al. 2001.
Kisnána Erodibility various 6? Luvisol Forest 1958-
2009 ? Results of single events BÁNKY 1959a
parison 24×50 4 Luvisol Arable land
2009 9 Annual runoff and soil loss
BÁDONYI et al. 2008; KER-
TÉSZ et al. 2007
KERTÉSZ et al. 2010
Madarász et al. 2011
K factor 2×22 4
Luvisol Black fallow 2000 9 Results of single events BALOGH et al. 2003
K factor 2×22 2 Leptosol Black fallow 2006 9 K=0.2, A=30 t ha-1, R=140 kJ
m-2 mm h-1 BALOGH et al. 2008
Pilismarót Erodibility various 6 Luvisol Arable land
1985 14-23 RR=0.04; A= 10.2 g m-2 GÓCZÁN & KERTÉSZ 1988,
1990; KERTÉSZ 1987
Bakonynána Erodibility various 6 Luvisol Arable land 1976-
1984 18-29 RR=5.6
KERTÉSZ and GÓCZÁN 1990;
GÓCZÁN and KERTÉSZ 1988
Abaújszántó Geotextil effect 2×10 16 Cambisols Vineyard
2008 10-20 K= 0.002; 0.004; 0.035 KERTÉSZ et al. 2007b,c
Károlyfalva Erodibility 0.8×2.5 4 Cambisol Black fallow 1986 18 Results of single events KERÉNYI 1991, 2006
Pátka Model calibra-
1.8×60 3 Cambisol
2002 4-13 Results of single events BARTA 2004
94 JAKAB G., SZABÓ J., SZALAI Z.
The most adequate database among the investigated sources is based on the Csákvár
experimental station (Figure 2). The K factor for five representative soils of the Lake Balaton
catchment was determined over several years. Four soil types were transported to the station
in order to equalize climatic conditions. Each investigated soil was originally shallow, there-
fore after the settlement of the replaced soil the circumstances were the same as in the in situ
locations (KERTÉSZ and RICHTER 1997). Eight years of measurement was calculated into eight
separate K factor values for each of the five investigated soils (KERTÉSZ et al. 2004).
Figure 2. Measured K values on Csákvár station (A: Lithosol, sandy silt; B: Cambisol, silty sand; C: Cambisol
silty clay; D: Rendzina silty clay; E: Cambisol silty clay) After KERTÉSZ et al. (2004)
2. ábra Mért K értékek a Csákvári Állomásról (A: Köves sziklás váztalaj, homokos vályog; B: Váztalaj homok;
C: Földes kopár agyag; D: Lejtőhordalék agyag; E: Rendzina silty clay) KERTÉSZ et al. (2004)
Presumably the database measured at the Kisnána station contains the highest amount
of data, however it has yet to be published. On the basis of the available data here, no valuable
calculations or comparisons can be made.
Some parts of the data measured at Szentgyörgyvár are published both in a detailed
rough format and in a summarized format (Table 2), hence they are not particularly applicable
for further calculations or comparisons (BÁDONYI et al. 2008, KERTÉSZ et al. 2007, KERTÉSZ
et al. 2010). Moreover the main parts of the database are still unavailable for the scientific
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997
Plot A 0,031 0,037 0,049 0,035 0,004 0,023 0,024 0,012
Plot B 0,036 0,069 0,076 0,111 0,012 0,042 0,060 0,005
Plot C 0,035 0,034 0,032 0,041 0,006 0,008 0,012 0,004
Plot D 0,001 0,021 0,027 0,022 0,007 0,017 0,030 0,003
Plot E 0,044 0,172 0,060 0,192 0,036 0,029 0,141 0,027
A review on sheet erosion measurements in Hungary 95
Table 2. Main measured parameters on the Szentgyörgyvár site. (R: USLE erosivity factor; Dep: deposited soil
loss; Susp: suspended soil loss) After BÁDONYI et al. 2008 and MADARÁSZ et al. 2011
2. táblázat Szentgyörgyvári Állomás által mért főbb adatok . (R: USLE esőenergia tényező; Dep: ülepedő talaj-
veszteség; Susp: lebegtetett talajveszteség) BÁDONYI et al. 2008 és MADARÁSZ et al. 2011 alapján
Year R Tillage Runoff Runoff
Dep. Susp. Total Soil
kJ m-2 mm h-1 m
3 ha-1 kg ha-1 kg ha-1 kg ha-1
Conventional 15.458 0.010 57 9 67
Minimum 2.708 0.002 3 2 5
M/C % 17.5 17.5 5.3 20.9 7.5
Conventional 892.127 0.290 4542 264 4806
Minimum 342.531 0.111 101 74 175
M/C % 38.4 38.4 2.2 28 3.6
Conventional 448.631 0.015 7331 591 7922
Minimum 110.44 0.005 1.1 64 165
M/C % 24.6 35.9 1.4 10.8 2.1
Conventional 26.2 0.04 n.a. n.a. 1540
Minimum 9.4 0.014 n.a. n.a. 580
M/C % 35.9 35 n.a. n.a. 37.7
The published parts of the erosion measurements carried out at Bátaapáti and
Püspökszilágy are short-term case studies. Since the data issued are separated and point scale,
both in time and space, the usage of these measurements are limited.
Plot measurements taken place next to Abaújszántó were aimed to quantify the role of
organic geotextiles in soil protection (JAKAB et al. 2012), moisture conservation (KERTÉSZ et
al. 2011) and erosion control (Table 3).
Table 3. Main result of biological geotextiles covered plot measurements at Abaújszántó 2006-2008
3. táblázat Geotextillel fedett parcellák mért értékei Abaújszántón 2006-2008
Orchard Espalier vineyard
covered Jute Borassus Buriti Un-
covered Jute Un-
Soil loss (t ha-1 year-1) 0.56 2.63 5.29 2.83 6.67 24.83 0.12 0.13
K (t h MJ-1 mm-1) n.a. 0.0045 n.a. n.a. n.a. 0.0427 n.a. 0.0002
P 0.21 n.a. 0.21 0.11 0.27 n.a. 0.98 n.a.
Runoff mm year-1 7.1 9.5 13.7 17.2 11.2 29.0 7.5 6.3
Runoff rate 0.013 0.017 0.025 0.036 0.023 0.053 0.014 0.011
Some of data measured next to Pilismarót and Bakonynána are published in a single
storm resolution, however the database seems to be incomplete in terms of the lengths of the
measuring period. The presented values are often difficult to compare due to the lack or insuf-
ficiency of certain parameters such as surface coverage. The annual summaries have not yet
been calculated and because of the length of the elapsed time it is unlikely they will ever be.
Although runoff and soil loss results measured at Pátka were of high quality, even for soil
erosion prediction model building (BARTA 2004), they were not available for further calcula-
tions. Similarly the database built at Károlyfalva seems to contain very useful data but neither
the literature, the rough database or the calculated values are available.
96 JAKAB G., SZABÓ J., SZALAI Z.
Rainfall simulation studies
Plot measurement results hardly depend on recent climatic conditions. In the absence or
abundance of some certain types of precipitation that occurred under a special soil condition,
the measured annual values can differ remarkably from each other. Hence the gained results
are comparable only with limitations. To ensure the possibility of a better comparison artifi-
cial precipitation forming devices were needed. Reflecting this need the first rainfall simulator
was designed and constructed parallel to the global trend and the first plot constructions in
Hungary by MATTYASOVSZKY (1953) in the 50s and KAZÓ (1967) in the 60s.
Table 4. Rainfall simulator studies in Hungary
4. táblázat Eső-szimulátoros vizsálatok Magyarországon
Type of simulator Plot size Purpose of using a rainfall
Rotating Drop former, field 0.25 m2 Infiltration, water management KAZÓ 1966b
Rotating Drop former, field 0.25 m2 Soil erodibility KAZÓ 1967
Rotating Drop former, lab 0.25 m2 Splash erosion KERÉNYI 1982, 1984b,
Individual drop former, field 8 m2 Soil erodibility KERTÉSZ and RICHTER
Alternating Nozzle type, field 12 m2 Soil erodibility CSEPINSZKY et al. 1998
Alternating Nozzle type, field 12 m2 Soil erodibility, infiltration CSEPINSZKY et al. 1999a-b
Alternating Nozzle type, field 12 m2 Soil erodibility, infiltration CSEPINSZKY and JAKAB
Alternating Nozzle type, field 12 m2 Soil erodibility CENTERI et al. 2001
Alternating Nozzle type, field 12 m2 Soil erodibility, soil loss predic-
Alternating Nozzle type, field 12 m2 Soil erodibility, crop rotation CENTERI 2002b
Alternating Nozzle type, field 12 m2 Soil erodibility CENTERI 2002c
Alternating Nozzle type, field 12 m2 Soil erodibility CENTERI et al. 2002
Alternating Nozzle type, field 12 m2 Soil erodibility, crusting impact KERTÉSZ et al. 2002
Fix Nozzle type, field 10 m2 Phosphorus loss, erodibility AZAZOGLU et al. 2003a,b
Alternating Nozzle type, field 12 m2 Soil erodibility CENTERI 2003
Alternating Nozzle type, field 12 m2 Soil erodibility CENTERI and PATAKI 2003
Alternating Nozzle type, field 12 m2 Soil erodibility, infiltration SCHWEITZER et al. 2003
Alternating Nozzle type, field 12 m2 Model comparison CENTERI et al. 2004
Alternating Nozzle type, field 12 m2 Soil erodibility, infiltration JAKAB 2004
Fix Nozzle type, field 10 m2 Phosphorus loss, comparison of
SISÁK et al. 2004a,b
Alternating Nozzle type, field 12 m2 Soil erodibility CENTERI et al. 2005
Alternating Nozzle type, field 12 m2 Soil erodibility, infiltration JAKAB and SZALAI 2005
Alternating Nozzle type, field 12 m2 Soil erodibility, Canopy effect SZŰCS et al. 2006
Individual drop former, lab. 0.5 m2 Karst corrosion ZÁMBÓ and WEIDINGER
Fix Nozzle type, field 0.25 m2 Soil erodibility, tillage effect KERTÉSZ et al. 2007
Fix Nozzle type, field 10 m2 Phosphorus loss STRAUSS et al. 2007.
Alternating Nozzle type, field 12 m2 Soil erosion, canopy effect BALOGH et al. 2008
Alternating Nozzle type, field 12 m2 Model comparison CENTERI et al. 2009
Fix Nozzle type, field 10 m2 Rill initiation HAUSNER and SISÁK
Fix Nozzle type, field 10 m2 Model calibration HAUSNER 2010
Alternating Nozzle type, field 12 m2 Crusting, SOC erosion JAKAB et al. 2013
Fix Nozzle type, lab. 0.5 m2 Aggregate erosion, crusting SZABÓ et al. 2015
Artificial rainfall simulation has many advantages. It makes the investigations cost-
effective, thus theoretically any type of rainfall characteristic can be applied at any time and
any place. The purpose of usage also widely varies. In addition to soil loss, runoff and infiltra-
A review on sheet erosion measurements in Hungary 97
tion studies, the device is also perfect for measurements on splash erosion, nutrient move-
ments, contamination leaching, sealing, crusting, organic carbon degradation, and karst corro-
sion (Table 4). Rainfall simulation studies in Hungary were reviewed in detail by CENTERI et
Descriptive investigations for process estimations
A detailed survey of an area can provide much more information than simply the degree of
soil erosion at various spots. The spatial distribution can be compared to other databases such
as (1) to other areas comparing the missing or deposited soil values at definite geomorpholog-
ic sites; or (2) to the same area from another time. Additionally, if they are well documented,
spatial comparisons can be done by applying individual studies from a wide range of pub-
lished investigations. On the other hand, for temporal comparisons, repeated surveys or stand-
ardized estimated initial conditions are needed on the same location, which are generally cre-
ated by the same research staff.
Tracers are very useful tools for soil redistribution investigations. Most of the materials can
act as a tracer in soil replacement detection, however some artificial materials are more suita-
ble than others. Since Hungary is located close to the Ukraine fallout from the nuclear acci-
dent at Chernobyl nearly contaminated the whole territory of the country as much. Cs-137
detection in soil redistribution therefore can provide soil loss and landscape evolution data
both in hillslope (CSEPINSZKY et al. 1999c) and catchment scale (DEZSŐ et al. 2004; KERTÉSZ
and JAKAB 2011). Results demonstrated that soil loss of an ordinary transdanubian catchment
of 100 km2 originated partly from subsoil due to gully erosion (~50%) and partly from topsoil
due to sheet erosion (50%) (JAKAB et al. 2009).
Retrospective estimates of deposition processes show that many chemical soil parame-
ters can be used such as high phosphate content (CENTERI 2010), mineralogical composition
(NAGY et al. 2012), CaCO3 or soil organic matter (JAKAB et al. 2014). These studies report a
relatively high deposition rate at the footslope position (generally more than two meters),
however the exact volume of soil loss along the investigated hillslope could only be estimat-
For detailed analytical investigations the in situ, real time artificial contamination
methods are more applicable than the retrospective ones. For tracers rear earth oxides are used
to determine the effects of erosion and tillage. This technique is not widespread in Hungary,
however TÓTH (2015) presented preliminary results from rear earth oxide distribution results
due to erosion under various tillage systems in Zala county.
The use of aerial photographs for surveying soil erosion in Hungary dates back to 1966. MIKE
(1966) tried to emphasize the advantages of this method compared to the traditional field sur-
vey, however, she focused mainly on gully erosion. As the calculation capacity of computers
increased, remote sensing image interpretations became generally available even for sheet
erosion surveys. VERŐNÉ WOJTASZEK (1996) compared calculated USLE soil loss categories
to those interpreted from landsat images for a tilled sample field of 200 ha. The highest differ-
ences (37% both) were found in the soil loss categories of 5-10 t ha-1 and 15< t ha-1, while the
ratio of the area classified to the same category was only 11%. The difficulties mentioned
were the disturbing influence of differences in plant coverage. A few years later VERŐNÉ
98 JAKAB G., SZABÓ J., SZALAI Z.
WOJTASZEK and BALÁZSIK (2008) published soil erosion map results derived from remote
sensing images for a whole catchment (~ 120 km2). These results were validated using field
samples. The authors reported that changes in soil quality were detected even under vegeta-
tion coverage. Nevertheless this method cannot be automatized as the identification of learn-
ing areas is valid for only one image, hence changes in soil moisture content, soil status or
vegetation cover can change soil radiation dramatically.
In complex studies the descriptive investigation is generally completed with analytical and/or
historical data describing the complex process that formed the present landscape. SZILASSI et
al. (2006) investigated the role of land use change in the fluctuating intensity of soil erosion at
a small catchment in the Balaton region and concluded that land use patterns have a unique
importance in soil loss values.
Sheet erosion measuring methods used in Hungary have always been in accordance with the
methods used by the rest of the world. The level of the designed experiments and equipment
in Hungary has also increased with international standards. The country spent significant re-
sources to construct and maintain their erosion measuring facilities that resulted in valuable
databases at several locations. The most notable weakness of these efforts has been the poor
publicity of these results due to the majority of the cases data stored in paper-based raw for-
mat without having gone through analysis.
Presently almost all the monitoring activities have been halted mainly due to financial
problems. The existing raw data are unavailable for the scientific community, however with
minimal additional investment they would become important resources for model calibrations
and other soil science purpose. This course of action would be much more inexpensive than
beginning new monitoring activities.
Conversely, some may say that it would be sufficient to use the erosion data measured
by neighboring countries and there is no need to spend additional money for such costly busi-
ness. Moreover, the existing correlations are losing their relevance due to the increasingly
acute influences of climate change. However, Hungary has very diverse patterns of soil types,
land use, climatic conditions and parent rock material that makes the expansion of the results
difficult. Additionally the question of up- and downscaling among scales proves problematic
without measured data.
Regardless, soil erosion is a rather serious problem—also in Hungary—that requires
action. According to the opinion of the authors the increasing quantity of available data on
soil erosion provides a higher level of security for the country.
A review on sheet erosion measurements in Hungary 99
ÁDÁM L. 1967: Soil erosion on the Szekszárd hills. Földrajzi értesítő 16: 451–469. In Hungarian
AZAZOGLU E., STRAUSS P., SISÁK I., KLAGHOFER E., BLUM W. 2003a: Effect of reapeted rainfall on phosphorus
transport on surface runoff. Diffuse input of chemicals into soil and groundwater - Assesment and man-
agement. Dresden, Conference Proceedings 265–268.
AZAZOGLU E., STRAUSS P., SISÁK I., KLAGHOFER E., BLUM W. 2003b: The effect of water quality and successive
rainfall on infiltration, runoff and soil loss. COST action 623 "Soil erosion and global change" Final meet-
ing and conference. Book of abstract and field guide 54–55.
BÁDONYI K., MADARÁSZ B., KERTÉSZ Á. CSEPINSZKY B. 2008: Study of the relationship between tillage meth-
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A review on sheet erosion measurements in Hungary 103
LEPELERÓZIÓS VIZSGÁLATOK EREDMÉNYEI MAGYARORSZÁGON
JAKAB Gergely1, SZABÓ Judit2, SZALAI Zoltán1,2
1MTA CSFK Földrajztudományi Intézet
1112 Budapest Budaörsi út 45. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2ELTE TTK Környezet- és Tájföldrajzi Tanszék
1117 Budapest, Pázmány Péter sétány 1/C.
Kulcsszavak: talajveszteség, léptékfüggés, módszertani különbség, országos adatbázis
Absztrakt: A talajpusztulás Magyarországon mind ökológiai, mind környezetvédelmi és gazdasági értelemben
meghatározó szerepet játszik ezért mérése és modellezése elsődleges fontosságú, különösen országos léptékben.
Az erózió néhány alapfolyamata jól közelíthető pusztán fizikai összefüggések használatával, azonban a holiszti-
kus megjelenítés - a folyamat meglehetősen összetett volta miatt - csak empirikusan történhet, ami nagymennyi-
ségű mért adat nélkül elképzelhetetlen. A lepelerózió in situ vizsgálatának legalkalmasabb és ezért a leginkább
elterjedt módszere a parcellás mérés, következésképp hazánkban is e mérésekből származik a legtöbb adat. Ma-
gyarország északi és nyugati területei a leginkább veszélyeztetettek a lepelerózió által, ezért a mérések is e terü-
letekre koncentráltak. A legtöbb parcellás mérés a USLE Universal Soil Loss Equation "K" tényezőjének megha-
tározását célozta ezért növényborítás nélküli, folyamatosan magágy állapotban tartott talajt vizsgált. A későbbi-
ekben aztán egyes szántóföldi növények illetve eltérő területhasználati típusok (erdő, kaszáló) talajvédő hatását
is számszerűsítették a mérések során. Ezeken túlmenően eltérő környezeti feltételek és változó lépék mellett a
területet leíró vizsgálatok, mesterséges esőztetések és a talajmozgás detektálása egészítette ki a lepeleróziós
vizsgálatokat. A nagymennyiségű mért adatnak csak egy részét publikálták ezért jelentős részük nem elérhető a
szakemberek számára. A hiányos adatok jelentős csökkenést okoznak a hazai erózióbecslés talajvédelem és
modellezés pontosságában és hatékonyságában. Az egyes területi léptékben mért adatok kiterjeszthetősége más
léptékekre korlátozott ezért a különböző léptékekben mért adatok megléte és használata nélkülözhetetlen. Az
eróziómérésre fordítható források szűkülésével, újabb mért adatok hiányában a meglévő értékek közzététele