Articles | Volume 6, issue 2
Original research article
16 Nov 2020
Original research article |  | 16 Nov 2020

Understanding the role of water and tillage erosion from 239+240Pu tracer measurements using inverse modelling

Florian Wilken, Michael Ketterer, Sylvia Koszinski, Michael Sommer, and Peter Fiener

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Cited articles

Alewell, C., Meusburger, K., Juretzko, G., Mabit, L., and Ketterer, M. E.: Suitability of 239+240Pu and 137Cs as tracers for soil erosion assessment in mountain grasslands, Chemosphere, 103, 274–280,, 2014. 
Alewell, C., Pitois, A., Meusburger, K., Ketterer, M., and Mabit, L.: 239+240Pu from “contaminant” to soil erosion tracer: Where do we stand?, Earth-Sci. Rev., 172, 107–123,, 2017. 
Alewell, C., Borrelli, P., Meusburger, K., and Panagos, P.: Using the USLE: Chances, challenges and limitations of soil erosion modelling, International Soil and Water Conservation Research, 7, 203–225,, 2019. 
Auerswald, K., Fiener, P., Martin, W., and Elhaus, D.: Use and misuse of the K factor equation in soil erosion modeling: An alternative equation for determining USLE nomograph soil erodibility values, Catena, 118, 220–225, 2014. 
Belyaev, V. R., Wallbrink, P. J., Golosov, V. N., Murray, A. S., and Sidorchuk, A. Y.: A comparison of methods for evaluating soil redistribution in the severely eroded Stavropol region, southern European Russia, Geomorphology, 65, 173–193,, 2005. 
Short summary
Soil redistribution by water and tillage erosion processes on arable land is a major threat to sustainable use of soil resources. We unravel the role of tillage and water erosion from fallout radionuclide (239+240Pu) activities in a ground moraine landscape. Our results show that tillage erosion dominates soil redistribution processes and has a major impact on the hydrological and sedimentological connectivity, which started before the onset of highly mechanised farming since the 1960s.