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Title: Assessment of water-induced soil erosion as a threat to cultural heritage sites: the case of Chania prefecture, Crete Island, Greece
Authors: Polykretis, Christos 
Alexakis, Dimitrios D. 
Grillakis, Manolis G. 
Agapiou, Athos 
Cuca, Branka 
Papadopoulos, Nikos 
Sarris, Apostolos 
Major Field of Science: Engineering and Technology
Field Category: Civil Engineering
Keywords: Cultural heritage;Soil erosion;USPED model;GIS;Crete
Issue Date: 2021
Source: Big Earth Data, 2021
Journal: Big Earth Data 
Abstract: Among the environmental threats, the intensification of natural hazards, such as soil erosion may threaten the integrity and value of cultural heritage sites. In this framework, the present study’s main objective was to identify archaeological sites susceptible by soil erosion, taking the case study of Chania prefecture in Crete Island. Remotely sensed and other available geospatial datasets were analyzed in a GIS-based empirical model, namely Unit Stream Power Erosion and Deposition (USPED), to estimate the average annual soil loss and deposition rates due to water-induced erosion in the study area. The resultant erosion map was then intersected with the locations and surrounding zones of the known archaeological sites for identifying the sites and the portions of their vicinity being at risk. The results revealed that Chania prefecture and its cultural heritage are significantly affected by both soil loss and deposition processes. Between the two processes, soil loss was found to be more intensive, influencing a larger part of the prefecture (especially to the west) as well as a higher amount of archaeological sites. The extreme and high soil loss classes were also detected to cover the most considerable portion of the sites’ surrounding area. The identification of the archaeological sites being most exposed to soil erosion hazard can constitute a basis for cultural heritage managers in order to take preventive preservation measures and develop specific risk mitigation strategies.
ISSN: 25745417
DOI: 10.1080/20964471.2021.1923231
Rights: © The Author(s). This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.
Type: Article
Affiliation : Foundation for Research & Technology-Hellas (F.O.R.T.H.) 
Technical University of Crete 
Cyprus University of Technology 
University of Cyprus 
Appears in Collections:Άρθρα/Articles

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