EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Soil pipe collapses in Europe: towards a continent-wide assessment

Anita Bernatek-Jakiel1, Matthias Vanmaercke2, Jean Poesen2,3, Anna Biernacka1, Anastasiia Derii1, Joanna Hałys1, Estela Nadal-Romero4, Panos Panagos5, Dawid Piątek1, Taco H. Regensburg6, Jan Rodzik3, Mateusz Stolarczyk1, Els Verachtert7, Patryk Wacławczyk1, and Wojciech Zgłobicki3
Anita Bernatek-Jakiel et al.
  • 1Institute of Geography and Spatial Management, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland (
  • 2Division of Geography and Tourism, KU Leuven, Heverlee, Belgium
  • 3Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences, UMCS, Lublin, Poland
  • 4Instituto Pirenaico de Ecología, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (IPE-CSIC), Zaragoza, Spain
  • 5European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Ispra, Italy
  • 6School of Geography, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
  • 7Flemish Institute for Technological Research, Mol, Belgium

Piping erosion leads to land degradation and causes several environmental and societal problems, although this process is rarely considered in soil erosion studies. So far, there are no systematic studies at regional to global scales aiming to understand the patterns and controlling factors of soil piping. This is mainly due to the methodological challenges related to detecting soil pipes. With this project, we aim to address this gap by identifying piping-affected areas in Europe. For this, we are constructing a database on surface evidences of soil piping, i.e. pipe roof collapses (PCs) for the European Union and the UK. Locations and other details of PCs in this database are collected based on an in-depth literature review in combination with detailed mapping based on Google Earth imagery, ortophotos and LiDAR data (if available). While the work is still ongoing, we have already compiled information on >2000 PCs in 10 different countries. In a next phase, we will use this PC database to construct the very first data-driven piping erosion susceptibility map of Europe.

This research is part of the Twinning project “Building excellence in research of human-environmental systems with geospatial and Earth observation technologies” that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 952327.

How to cite: Bernatek-Jakiel, A., Vanmaercke, M., Poesen, J., Biernacka, A., Derii, A., Hałys, J., Nadal-Romero, E., Panagos, P., Piątek, D., Regensburg, T. H., Rodzik, J., Stolarczyk, M., Verachtert, E., Wacławczyk, P., and Zgłobicki, W.: Soil pipe collapses in Europe: towards a continent-wide assessment, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-579,, 2022.