Contemporary gully erosion trend in the northern part of the forest-steppe zone of the Russian Plain: a case study from the Republic of Tatarstan, European Russia
This article presents results for gully head cut retreat rates (GHRR) in the Pre-Kama region (Republic of Tatarstan, Russia) based on monitoring (1984–1994 and 2015–2018) and the interpretation of high-resolution satellite images (2004–2014). The results suggested that the mean linear GHRR have reduced by about five times, from 1.6 m per year (1983–1994) to 0.4 m per year (2015–2018). The main reason for the significant decrease in gully erosion was the increase in winter-spring air temperatures, which resulted in a reduction in the depth of soil freezing and surface runoff. The impact of land use, as well as erosion control measures, which were implemented in the study area during the late 1980s and early 1990s, was found to be less important.