The Variable Interval Cross-Sectional Area method
Olive, Nathaniel David
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Soil loss on recreational trails has become a major concern for land managers, who are required to maintain recreational and ecological integrity of trail resources. Various methods have been used to assess and monitor trail conditions to prevent costly maintenance and set standards for resource quality. Variations of the Cross-Sectional Area (CSA) method to gauge soil loss have been employed with varying degrees of accuracy and efficiency. This study compares these variations with the new Variable Interval (VI) CSA method. Conclusions indicate that the VI version is preferable over other CSA variations. An application of the VI method in a case study reveals new relationships with influential factors of soil erosion. New statistics are introduced that represent a larger perspective of trail system conditions, for use in public policy and management frameworks such as Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC). Finally, implications and utilities of the VI method are discussed.