This project aims to preserve vulnerable soil resources for future generations by investigating how climate change will affect the susceptibility of soil to erosion, through its impacts on the soil properties that determine aggregate stability.

At a glance

The project, conducted by PhD student Emily Dowdeswell, aims to investigate the effects of climate change on soil erosion. Climate change will have direct and indirect impacts on soil erosion rates. Changes to temperature and precipitation regimes will alter the erosivity of rainfall (direct impact), and will affect the stability of soil aggregates - particles that bind to each other - and thus the susceptibility of soil to erosion (indirect impact). Numerous properties of the soil are responsible for aggregate stability, but their interactions are poorly understood.

Through experiments in Cranfield’s state-of-the-art erosion laboratories, the project will uncover these interactions and feedbacks to help better protect crucial soil resources in the future.