Effects of Wildfire on Runoff and Soil Erosion in the Southeastern Marmara Region, Turkey

Mehmet PARLAK

Ekoloji, 2015, Issue 94, Pages: 43-48

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5053/ekoloji.2015.946

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Abstract

Wildfires cause an increase in runoff and erosion due to the destruction of vegetative cover and alteration of soil characteristics. This study was carried out to determine the impacts of the forest fire, the runoff and erosion, which occurred on 18 August 2011 in the Village of Doganci, a village of the city of Bayramic located southeast of Canakkale. A total of 12 rainfall simulations were performed on the adjacent burned and unburned lands. Simulations were carried out during the initial month after the fire under very low soil moisture conditions. The parameters: time to runoff, mean runoff, maximum runoff rate, runoff percentage, sediment concentration, peak of sediment, and total soil loss were measured for each simulation. The data was compared using an independent t-test. The difference in time to runoff values between the burned and unburned cases was found to be significant at p<0.01 level. The runoff and maximum runoff values of the burned plots were found to be respectively 15 and 16 times higher than the unburned plots. While the runoff percentage was 7.66% for the burned plots, it was determined as 0.51% for the unburned plots. Sediment concentration and the peak of sediment for burned plots were found to be 7.70 g L-1 and 14.67 g L-1, respectively, and the values for the unburned plots were observed as 0.93 g L-1 and 1.30 g L-1, respectively. The total soil loss from the burned plots was almost 40 times higher than the soil loss from the unburned plots.

Keywords

erosion, forest fire, runoff, rainfall simulation

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