The aim of this research was to analyse the changes in the soil erosion intensity caused by erosion control works (ECW) in Grdelica Gorge (The South Morava River) in the period between 1953 and 2016. For the purpose of quantifying the erosion intensity changes, the erosion potential model (EPM) was used to calculate the annual gross erosion (W), sediment transport (G), and erosion coefficient (Z) in the study area. As a result of the performed technical and biotechnical erosion control works, there was a general decreasing trend in the intensity of soil erosion processes in the last 63 years. The specific annual gross erosion in Grdelica Gorge was 1920.34 m3/km−2/year−1 in 1953, while in 2016 it was 492.42 m3/km−2/year−1. The specific sediment transport was 1421.05 m3/km−2/year−1 in 1953 and 364.39 m3/km−2/year−1 in 2016. Due to the changes in the intensity of erosion processes, the specific annual gross erosion in the study area decreased by 1427.92 m3/km−2/year−1 and the specific sediment transport by 1056.66 m3/km−2/year−1. The value of the erosion coefficient was reduced from Z = 0.84 in 1953 to Z = 0.32 in 2016. The results show that there is a significant correlation between the soil erosion intensity (erosion coefficient) and ECW (biotechnical works) performed in Grdelica Gorge. The permanent control of erosion processes in Grdelica Gorge is very important for torrential flood prevention and protection of two very important traffic routes (Belgrade-Skopje-Athens railway and motorway—Corridor X), as well as settlements, local roads, and other facilities in this area. Furthermore, these results are the basis for future water management projects, soil and environmental protection, spatial planning, agriculture, and other human activities.
Kostadinov, S., Braunović, S., Dragićević, S., Zlatić, M., Dragović, N., & Rakonjac, N. (2018). Effects of erosion control works: Case study- Grdelica Gorge, the South Morava River (Serbia). Water (Switzerland), 10(8). https://doi.org/10.3390/w10081094