Assessment of the soil loss caused by riverbank erosion in Serbia

Marko Langović, Slavoljub Dragićević, Ivan Novković, Nenad Živković, Radislav Tošić, Boban Milojković, Zoran Čvorović


Riverbank erosion and lateral channel migration are important geomorpho-logical pro­cesses which cause various landscape, socio-economic, and environmental con­se­quen­ces. Although those processes are present on the territory of Serbia, there is no available data about the soil loss caused by riverbank erosion for the entire country. In this study, the spatial and temporal dynamics of the riverbank erosion for the largest internal rivers in Serbia (Velika Morava, Zapadna Morava, Južna Morava, Pek, Mlava, Veliki Ti­mok, Kolubara) was assessed using remote sensing and GIS. The aim of this paper is to determine the total and average soil loss over large-scale periods (1923-2020), comparing data from the available sources (aerial photographs, satellite images, and different scale paper maps). Results indicated that lateral migration caused significant problems through land loss (approximately 2,561 ha), especially arable land, and land use changes in river basins, but also economic loss due to the reduction of agricultural production. Total and average soil loss was calculated for five most representative meanders on all studied rivers, and on the basis of the obtained values, certain regularities about further development and dynamics of riverbank movement are presented. A better understanding of river channel migration in this area will be of a great importance for practical issues such as predicting channel migration rates for river engineering and planning purposes, soil and water management and land use changes, environment protection.

Key words: riverbank erosion, lateral channel migration, meanders, soil loss, Serbia

© 2021 Serbian Geographical Society, Belgrade, Serbia.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Serbia

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