Monitoring and assessing land degradation: new approaches

Ian D L Foster, John Boardman, Peter J Holmes (Editor), John Boardman (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapter


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
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages308
ISBN (Print)9781138688957
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2018

Publication series

NameEarthscan studies in natural resource management


Cite this

Foster, I. D. L., Boardman, J., Holmes, P. J. (Ed.), & Boardman, J. (Ed.) (2018). Monitoring and assessing land degradation: new approaches. In Southern African Landscapes and Environmental Change (pp. 249-274). (Earthscan studies in natural resource management). Routledge.