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Regional soil erosion in response to land use and increased typhoon frequency and intensity, Taiwan

  • David R. Montgomery (a1), Michelle Y.-F. Huang (a1) and Alice Y.-L. Huang (a1)


Reservoir sedimentation data and sediment yields from Taiwanese rivers show increased soil erosion in response to both 20th century changes in land use and a more recent increase in typhoon frequency and intensity. Decadal variations of up to 5- to 20-fold in suspended-sediment rating curves demonstrate supply-limited transport and correspond to increased sediment delivery from hillslopes due to changes in land use, regional ground shaking during the Chi-Chi earthquake, and post-2000 changes in typhoon frequency and intensity. While accelerated erosion in central Taiwan after the Chi-Chi earthquake has been documented previously, our results show that periods of increased upland erosion also occurred earlier, in response to 20th century changes in land use. Analyses of rainfall records and typhoon frequency for the period 1900–2009 further point to an island-wide increase in erosion rates corresponding to increased typhoon frequency and intensity after 1990.


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*Corresponding author. E-mail address: Montgomery).


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1 Now at: Research Center for Environmental Changes, Academia Sinica, Taipei 115, Taiwan.



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Regional soil erosion in response to land use and increased typhoon frequency and intensity, Taiwan

  • David R. Montgomery (a1), Michelle Y.-F. Huang (a1) and Alice Y.-L. Huang (a1)


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