Prof. Sarah Pariente


Professor Sarah Pariente, Head of Laboratory of Geomorphology and Soil, Approach to soil research emphasizes the relations between soil characteristics and geomorphic processes that control landscape evolution. Also, I find that the spatial organization and diversity of surface components are key factors in understanding the spatio-temporal differences of soil and vegetation characteristics as well as water movement on hillslopes. These, help to assess self-regulation/self-destruction mechanisms not only in studies that involved natural conditions but also in studies that related to anthropogenic ones.


 Within the above framework the following topics are investigated: (a) Spatial changes of soil and vegetation along climatic gradients in order to predict the effect of expected climate change (space for time) on land degradation in various eco-geomorphic systems; (b) Feedback mechanisms between biotic and non-biotic factors and processes, and spatio-temporal patterns of soil properties; (c) Soil - plant – water – human activity and erosion relations in natural and anthropogenic eco-geomorphic systems; (d) Relationships between the temporal dynamics, in various scales, of the spatial distribution of soil properties and the climatic conditions; (e) Patterns and patchiness of the soluble salts and organic matter contents, enzymes activity, soil structure, and soil moisture, and their effect on hillslope erosion processes under various water regimes; (f) Relationships between soil structure and infiltration, overland flow and soil erosion under arid and semi-arid climatic conditions; (g) the role of surface components (micro-environments) as “contributing” (source) or “accepting” (sink) of resources (water, sediments, nutrients) and their mutual relations; (h) Effects of environmental change on soil and their dynamics at various micro-environments (such as: "bare soil", "under shrubs", "under rock fragments", "trampling routes") in various land use areas (rangelands, urban parks, roadsides). For example: the role of livestock grazing on soil – water - vegetation - overland flow – topography relations; (i) Mechanical, chemical and biological indicators for land degradation and desertification; (j) Effect of human activities on soil in different micro-environments in urban areas, including soil development, and heavy metal contamination in soils along road sides. (k) Effect of the temperature of rain drops on runoff and erosion in different soil and agricultural treatments.


The studies are based on field and laboratory methods, such as rainfall simulation experiments, and determination of soluble salts and organic matter contents.