Assessment of Gully Erosion Susceptibility Using Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines and Accounting for Terrain Connectivity

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30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this work, we assessed gully erosion susceptibility in two adjacent cultivated catchments of Sicily (Italy) by employing multivariate adaptive regression splines and a set of geo-environmental variables. To explore the influence of hydrological connectivity on gully occurrence, we measured the changes of performance occurred when adding one by one nine predictors reflecting terrain connectivity to a base model that included contributing area and slope gradient. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves and the area under the ROC curve were used to evaluate model performance. Gully predictive models were trained in both the catchments and submitted to internal (in the calibration catchment) and external (in the adjacent one) validation, using samples extracted both from all cells of the catchments and only from cells located along flow concentration axes. Model evaluation on the entire catchments shows outstanding predictive performance of models that either include or do not include the predictors selected to reflect potential hydrological connectivity. Conversely, area under the ROC curve values measured on flow concentration axes reveals that almost all the additional predictors improve the performance of the base model, but the most enhanced increase of accuracy occurs when upstream drainage density of each landscape position is included as predictor of gully occurrence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)724-736
Number of pages13
JournalLAND DEGRADATION & DEVELOPMENT
Volume29
Publication statusPublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Development
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Soil Science

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