Integrated spatial assessment of wind erosion risk in Hungary
Wind erosion susceptibility of Hungarian soils was mapped on the national level integrating three factors of the complex phenomenon of deflation (physical soil features, wind characteristics, and land use and land cover). Results of wind tunnel experiments on erodibility of representative soil samples were used for the parametrization of a countrywide map of soil texture compiled for the upper 5 cm layer of soil, which resulted in a map representing threshold wind velocity exceedance. Average wind velocity was spatially estimated with 0.5′ resolution using the Meteorological Interpolation based on Surface Homogenised Data Basis (MISH) method elaborated for the spatial interpolation of surface meteorological elements. The probability of threshold wind velocity exceedance was determined based on values predicted by the soil texture map at the grid locations. Ratio values were further interpolated to a finer 1 ha resolution using sand and silt content of the uppermost (0–5 cm) layer of soil as spatial co-variables. Land cover was also taken into account, excluding areas that are not relevant to wind erosion (forests, water bodies, settlements, etc.), to spatially assess the risk of wind erosion. According to the resulting map of wind erosion susceptibility, about 10 % of the total area of Hungary can be identified as susceptible to wind erosion. The map gives more detailed insight into the spatial distribution of wind-affected areas in Hungary compared to previous studies.