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Soil Themes > Soil Erosion > PESERA Model

The Pan-European Soil Erosion Risk Assessment - PESERA - uses a process-based and spatially distributed model to quantify soil erosion by water and assess its risk across Europe. The conceptual basis of the PESERA model can also be extended to include estimates of tillage and wind erosion. The model is intended as a regional diagnostic tool, replacing comparable existing methods, such as the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE), which are less suitable for European conditions and lack compatibility with higher resolution models.

The model results have been validated at catchment level and compared with results of applying other erosion risk assessment methods across Europe at country and pan-European scale. However, further development of the model and a substantial amount of calibration and validation work are essential if PESERA is to become operational.

Preliminary results suggest that, although the model can be applied at regional, national and European levels, low resolution and poor quality input data cause errors and uncertainties. However quantification of the erosion problem enables evaluation of the possible effects of future changes in climate and land use, through scenario analysis and impact assessment taking into account cost-effectiveness, technical feasibility, social acceptability and possibilities for implementation.

Soil erosion indicators developed from a physically based model will not only provide information on the state of soil erosion at any given time, but also assist in understanding the links between different factors causing erosion. Another advantage for policy-making is that scenario analysis for different land use and climate changes is possible using PESERA. This will enable the impacts of agricultural policy, and land use and climate changes to be assessed and monitored across Europe.

Available Resources in PESERA:


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European Commission - Joint Research Centre
Institute for Environment and Sustainability
Marc Van Liedekerke(tel. +39-0332-785179)
Panos Panagos (tel. +39-0332-785574)