Monitoring and assessing land degradation: new approaches

Ian D L Foster, John Boardman

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapterpeer-review


This chapter examines land degradation in southern Africa. The focus is on the major issue of erosion by water at scales ranging from a few square metres to assessments that aim to cover the whole region. Approaches to measure and reconstruct both current and historical erosion rates are considered, focusing on the period since the arrival of Europeans who brought many of their farming and management practices with them. In most parts of the country, the impact of humans on the landscape has been clear for the last 200 years. This is referred to as ’accelerated erosion’, i.e., erosion at rates that are above the natural geological norm for the current climatic conditions. The chapter considers a range of techniques including direct measurement, remote sensing, fingerprinting and modelling as approaches to the monitoring and assess land degradation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSouthern African Landscapes and Environmental Change
EditorsPeter J Holmes, John Boardman
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9781315537979
ISBN (Print)9781138688957
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Jul 2018

Publication series

NameEarthscan studies in natural resource management


  • Land degradation
  • Area studies
  • Built environment
  • Earth sciences
  • Environment & agriculture
  • Environment and sustainability
  • Geography


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