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Evaluation of land degradation in Ilha Solteira (SP) caused by soil excavation, using geoindicators and GIS

Abstract

Natural resources exploration is one of the most important human activities causing land degradation. The use of soil as raw material in civil engineering works demands its retreat by excavation in areas with appropriate soil for proposed use. The processes involved in these activities usually results in significant environmental degradation, including direct physical degradation processes (like erosion, silting, soil organic matter retreat, and soil compaction) in soil and indirect impacts in vegetation and surface and groundwater quality. Its main consequence is to reduce future potential use of areas. In order to reduce this degradation and provide good use of natural resources, it’s very important an efficient survey of the environment and the impacts caused by land use. An appropriate manner to conduce this survey is using attributes whose describes land basic conditions and whose permits degradations identifications based on attributes alterations. Geoindicators are a group of attributes whose can provide the appropriate conditions to describe natural resources, its usage and land degradation, however, geoindicators surveying can be a time-consuming technique. Using GIS techniques and procedures, geoindicators surveying can be more quickly and efficient, resulting an excellent method of decision support system. (AU)

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