WIT Press

Sediment Yield From Mountain Slopes: A GIS Based Automation Of The Classic Gavrilovic Method


Free (open access)





Page Range

301 - 311




585 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


D. Brambilla, L. Longoni, F. Mazza & M. Papini


Sediment yield and slope erosion represent nowadays an open problem for Alpine river basins management. In the last decades a variety of methods to estimate erosion rate and yield volumes have been studied and presented to the scientific community; however these methods are often empirical and only provide rough results. On the other hand the use of physical based methods demands an enormous quantity of data that are difficult and costly to collect. Moreover these data are affected by an intrinsic error due to the impossibility of taking accurate parameter measurements. This paper focuses on the Gavrilovic method that is considered a standard for erosion evaluation in Alpine regions; this theory has proved to be effective and quite simple to be applied, but has a major drawback in the subjectivity of parameter determination. Since 1973, when this method was initially published, many things have changed and computers have revolutionized the scientific world. The authors are convinced that the use of a GIS support can automate the Gavrilovic method. GIS uses advanced calculation methods based on high resolution geographic data; these datasets allow one to eliminate or at least reduce the role of the operator in the calculation processes. Moreover the whole basin can be automatically split into little sub basins with similar features. This operation leads to an application field more similar to the original testing site. The final objective is to present an automated process that can produce a reliable prediction of sediment yield from little and medium basins starting from DTM and use of soil maps, taking into account also the rainfall distribution on the studied area. The new method is then applied to a test site to demonstrate the improvements in time and efficiency this innovation can lead to. Keywords: Gavrilovic, sediment yield, soil loss, Alpine basin, GIS.


Gavrilovic, sediment yield, soil loss, Alpine basin, GIS