30386 - Soil Erosion and Bio-Engineering Installations

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student is able to tackle the problems connected to a degradation, through the control of soil erosion and proper water management. In particular, the student will able to: - evaluate the causes, factors and dynamics of water and wind erosion and the risk of desertification; - know the methods for measurement and the models for the erosion estimation; - evaluate the surface and groundwater cycle, - analyse extreme events (flow rates and precipitations), - know the methods and models for estimation of the river flow, - know and apply the techniques of Soil and Water Bioengineering for erosion control of the slopes and riverbeds.

Course contents

  • Soil erosion. Exogenous factors. Erosive action of precipitation. Forms, factors and causes of erosion. Mass movements: causes and classification. Models for the estimation of soil erosion at the basin scale, Universal Soil Loss Equation USLE - USDA. Wind erosion.
  • Erosive action of the flood events. Forms of river erosion and sedimentation.
  • River solid flow, methods of measurement and estimation. Elements of river geomorphology and morphometry. Main river forms.
  • Elements of river hydraulics. Liquid and solid river flow, definitions. Flow measurement methods and graphical representations. River basin and hydrological balance. Extreme events, return time, time of concentration, runoff coefficient. Flow estimation methods.
  • Elements of basin hydrology. Precipitation effects on drainage basin.
  • Statistical study of precipitations and flow rates. Databases. Important events and return time. Climatic possibility curves, Gumbel method.
  • Elements of groundwater hydrology. Properties of rocks in the presence of water. Groundwater cycle. Movements and structure of the groundwater basins. Measurement, distribution and cartographic representation.
  • Soil and Water Bioengineering in different basins. Interventions for soil defense and water regulation. Wind erosion control techniques.
  • Elements of applied cartography. Thematic maps: use and reading.


It is not necessary to purchase specific materials. Teaching material is provided during lessons, available on the course platform.

Further reading:

V. Ferro; “La sistemazione dei bacini idrografici”; McGraw-Hill; Milano; 2002.


Teaching methods

The course is divided into lectures and problem solving. Field visits are also planned.

The teaching of Soil Erosion and Bio-Engineering Installations consists of 4 ECTS and it is the same as the one of Hydraulic Agro-Forestry. However, the course programme excludes two topics that will be indicated by the teacher.

Assessment methods

Hydraulic Agro-Forestry is a module of the integrated course "Agro-Forestry Hydraulic Systems", together with the course of "Agricultural Soil Mechanics". Consequently, the final mark will be the average value of the two modules.

The final exam will be an oral one.

Since this is an integrated course, the recording teacher is Prof. Michele Mattetti.

Soil Erosion and Bio-Engineering Installations - the final exam will be an oral one.

Teaching tools

Slides, blackboard, computer, didactic material.

Office hours

See the website of Stevo Lavrnic