The potential for soil erosion was evaluated in this research carried out in the Appalachian Region of Virginia, USA.
The research was carried out by William Worrell, M. Chad Bolding and Wallace Aust, and was published in the Southern Journal of Applied Forestry, 35(3), 2011. The article is titled “Potential Soil Erosion following Skyline Yarding versus Tracked Skidding on Bladed Skid Trails in the Appalachian Region of Virginia”. The aim of the study was to compare potential soil erosion losses from cable yarding (standing skyline) and conventional skidding (bulldozer cable skidder) with bladed skid trails.
Three timber harvesting sites were evaluated, where both harvesting systems were used on different areas within each site. Universal soil loss equations (adapted for forestlands) were used to estimate potential soil erosion rates. These losses were determined by taking a minimum of three samples from each yarder operational area (deck, yarder landing, spur road, corridor and harvest) and each skidder operational area (deck, skid trail and harvest).
The results showed that the yarder had less potential for soil erosion than the skidder (1.70 versus 1.86 tons per acre per year). The differences were predicated to have been greater if the spur roads for the cable yarding operation had been properly designed. These roads yielded greater than 25 tons per acre per year of soil erosion. If the spur road design improved, the cable yarder operation would have significantly less erosion potential.
Please access the journal article for a more complete account of the research. Source: http://saf.publisher.ingentaconnect.com/content/saf/sjaf/2011/00000035/00000003;jsessionid=g6leqjljmsh5g.alexandra