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Solid Earth An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2017-85
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
01 Nov 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Solid Earth (SE).
Assessment of Soil Erosion Vulnerability in the Heavily Populated and Ecologically Fragile Communities in Motozintla De Mendoza, Chiapas, Mexico
Selene B. González-Morales1, Alex Mayer2, and Neptalí Ramírez-Marcial3 1Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad de Ciencias y Artes de Chiapas, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, México
2Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan, USA
3Departamento de Conservación de la Biodiversidad, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, México
Abstract. The physical aspects and knowledge of soil erosion in six communities in rural Chiapas, Mexico were assessed. Average erosion rates estimated with the RUSLE model ranged from 200 to 1,200 ha−1 yr−1. Most erosion rates are relatively high due to steep slopes, sandy soils and bare land cover. The lowest rates occur where corn is cultivated for much of the year and slopes are relatively low. The results of a knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) survey showed that two-thirds of respondents believed that the major cause of soil erosion was hurricanes or rainfall and only 14 % of respondents identified human activities as causes of erosion. Forty-two percent of respondents indicated that the responsibility for solving soil erosion problems lies with government, as opposed to 26 % indicating that the community is responsible. More than half of respondents believed that reforestation is a viable option for reducing soil erosion, but only a third of respondents were currently applying reforestation practices and another one-third indicated that they were not following any conservation practices. The KAP results were used to assess the overall level of knowledge and interest in soil erosion problems and their solutions by compiling negative responses. The community of Barrio Vicente Guerrero may be most vulnerable to soil erosion, since it had the highest average negative response and the second highest soil erosion rate. However, Poblado Cambil had the highest estimated soil erosion rate and a relatively low average negative response rate, suggesting that soil conservation efforts should be prioritized for this community. We conclude that as long as the economic and productive needs of the communities are not solved simultaneously, the risk of soil erosion will increase in the future, which threatens the survival of these communities.

Citation: González-Morales, S. B., Mayer, A., and Ramírez-Marcial, N.: Assessment of Soil Erosion Vulnerability in the Heavily Populated and Ecologically Fragile Communities in Motozintla De Mendoza, Chiapas, Mexico, Solid Earth Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2017-85, in review, 2017.
Selene B. González-Morales et al.
Selene B. González-Morales et al.
Selene B. González-Morales et al.

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Short summary
Physical aspects and knowledge of soil erosion in six rural communities in Chiapas, Mexico were assessed. Average erosion rates estimated with the RUSLE model ranged from 200 to 1,200 ha−1 yr−1. Most erosion rates are relatively high due to steep slopes, sandy soils and bare land cover. The results of a knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) survey showed that some communities with high erosion rates also have lower knowledge of and more negative attitudes towards soil erosion management.
Physical aspects and knowledge of soil erosion in six rural communities in Chiapas, Mexico were...
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