Relations between climatic-geomorphological parameters and sediment yield in a mediterranean semi-arid area (Sicily, southern Italy)

Sergio Grauso, Andrea Pagano, Grazia Fattoruso, Piero De Bonis, Filippo Onori, Pasquale Regina, Carlo Tebano

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In the present work on-going research is discussed whose primary goal is to test some statistical methods to estimate the average yearly area-specific sediment yield (SSY). Using geomorphological and climatic parameters various multiple regression formulae have been set up based on SSY observed data from 16 catchments of Sicily. Three distinct techniques were adopted to select the parameters to be used in the equations: simple correlation, stepwise regression analysis and a supervised geomorphological-statistical correlation. The comparison of the results showed the effectiveness of the stepwise analysis, which led to a regression equation with a coefficient of determination (r2) of 0.87. Nevertheless, even this methodology showed some elements of uncertainty that have caused, in some cases, appreciable differences between observed and predicted values (mean percentage error equal to 26%). These differences are likely either due to the hydraulic regime of most of Sicilian watercourses (typical of semi-arid regions) or to hidden factors (e.g., topography, human impact and concentrated erosion), which can greatly affect the processes of sediment production and transport. The study has pointed out the need to take into account a larger number of observations and to perform the analysis of relations between suitable variables and SSY at a more detailed time resolution. © 2007 Springer-Verlag.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219 - 234
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironmental Geology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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