COSA – AlpErosion: Monitoring the degradation of Alpine soils with COSA, a Citizens’ Observatory Smartphone App

Christine Alewell, Katrin Meusburger, Daniela Kandl, Ilir Fetai, Volker Roth, Valentino Rugolo, Heiko Schuldt und Thomas Vetter
Appears in
Bulletin der Bodenkundlichen Gesellschaft der Schweiz
Bodenkundliche Gesellschaft der Schweiz

While Alpine soils show increasing, yet unnoticed trends of degradation, their importance and value to society as a whole, but also to ecosystem and landscape stability is often overlooked. This project aims to make soil degradation of Alpine grasslands more visible in combining the citizen observatory approach with a Smartphone App for photo documentation by hikers, mountain bikers and skiers. Data evaluation will be used to extrapolate trends of soil degradation in space and time as well as being the starting point of more detailed ground truth and/or remote sensing investigations. In addition, this project could be a pioneer for a Smartphone App generally suitable for environmental monitoring (e.g. loss in biodiversity or expansion of neophytes).

Research Projects