Land degradation within the right-of-way of overhead transmission lines
and impacts on soils in Western Siberia (Russia)
Anthropogenic impacts from the construction and operation of
high-voltage transmission lines on a land in a right-of-way (ROW) result
in soil cover disturbances varying in scale, age and origin. This
affects soil diversity. We found that the distribution of disturbed soil
areas follows a power distribution. The following main types of
anthropogenic soils were identified within the ROW: filled soil,
slightly disturbed resectozem, moderately disturbed resectozem 2 and
abrazem. The areas of disturbed soils are superimposed on the natural
heterogeneity of the remaining forest soils. We found that soil
diversity within a ROW consists of 2.2% filled soils, 3.9% resectozem
1, 11% resectozem 2 and 10.4% abrazems. The total area of
anthropogenically changed soils is 27.5% of the entire study area. Soil
degradation causes resectozem 2 and abrazem. An increase in a surface
slope angle till 2°–4о results in the growth of moderately degraded
areas, whereas, an increase of more than 10о leads to highly degraded
areas. The degree of soil cover degradation in the ROW is 3 out of 5.
Comparison of disturbed areas based on the types of anthropogenic soils
revealing significant differences between resectozems 2 and abrazems.
The form factor of disturbances occurring during construction has a
modal value of 0.8–0.9, whereas, that during operation is 0.7–0.8.
Currently, the soil cover contains accumulated traces of degradation.
Thus, the cumulative potential for soil degradation accumulated over the
past 60 years of intensive economic development must be considered.