Soil erosion is generally recognized as the dominant process of land degradation. The formation and expansion of gullies is often a highly significant process of soil erosion. However, our ability to assess and simulate gully erosion and its impacts remains very limited. This is especially so at regional to continental scales. As a result, gullying is often overlooked in policies and land and catchment management strategies. Nevertheless, significant progress has been made over the past decades. Based on a review of >590 scientific articles and policy documents, we provide a state-of-the-art on our ability to monitor, model and manage gully erosion at regional to continental scales. In this review we discuss the relevance and need of assessing gully erosion at regional to continental scales (Section 1); current methods to monitor gully erosion as well as pitfalls and opportunities to apply them at larger scales (section 2); field-based gully erosion research conducted in Europe and European Russia (section 3); model approaches to simulate gully erosion and its contribution to catchment sediment yields at large scales (section 4); data products that can be used for such simulations (section 5); and currently existing policy tools and needs to address the problem of gully erosion (section 6). Section 7 formulates a series of recommendations for further research and policy development, based on this review. While several of these sections have a strong focus on Europe, most of our findings and recommendations are of global significance.
Vanmaercke, M., Panagos, P., Vanwalleghem, T., Hayas, A., Foerster, S., Borrelli, P., et al. (2021). Measuring, modelling and managing gully erosion at large scales: A state of the art. EARTH-SCIENCE REVIEWS, 218, 103637 [10.1016/j.earscirev.2021.103637].