Topic 4: Indicators of Soil and Water Conservation


In this topic, we look at some of the indicators that have been used to measure whether management objectives in the area of conservation of soils and water are being met. This is a difficult area, as the most informative indictors require very detailed measurements, and these are generally not being done, especially in jurisdictions where the management units are very large. Instead, as you will see, there is now a tendency to move away from such costly indicators, with indicators focusing on the presence of suitable management guidelines and practices.

We will also briefly look at how you might undertake a geomorphological hazard assessment. This is a complex area that requires a great deal of skill, not least because the consequences of an incorrect decision could be very serious (for example, resulting in fatalities). In many situations, the assessment is best done by a trained geomorphologist or geo-engineer, but it is important that a forester be able to recognize situations for which a professional opinion should be sought.

Video Lectures

3.4.1 Indicators for the conservation and maintenance of soil and water resources

3.4.2 Hazard assessment in forests


Textbook Reading:

  • Chapter 7 of the course text:
    Innes, J., & Tikina, A. (Eds.). (2014). Sustainable forest management: From principles to practice. London: Earthscan Publications. ISBN: 1844077241

Further Reading:

  • Pike, R. G., Feller, M. C., Stednick, J. D., Rieberger, K. J., & Carver, M. (n.d.). Water quality and forest management. Retrieved from
    For an account of the relationships between forest management and water quality in British Columbia, Canada, see the PDF at the above link.

Further reading:

  • Brundsen, D., & Prior, D.B. (1984). Slope instability. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Dikau, R., Brunsden, D., Schrott, L., & Ibsen, M.-L. (Eds.) (1996). Landslide recognition. Identification, movement and causes. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN: 978-0-471-96477-3
  • Downs, P.W., & Gregory, K.J. (2004). River channel management: Towards sustainable catchment hydrosystems. London: Arnold. ISBN-10: 0340759690; ISBN-13: 978-0340759691
  • Weir, P. (2002). Snow avalanche: Management in forested terrain. Victoria: Ministry of Forests. ISBN 0-7726-4881-6. Retrieved from:


Module III - Topic 4: Self-test

Quiz Description:

The following self-test quiz is designed to check your understanding of important learning concepts for this topic. The quiz contains ten multiple choice questions. There is no time limit for you to take the quiz and you may attempt to take it as many times as you like. After you click the Submit button, you will see your Grade, number of Correct Answers, your answers, and the Answer Key for each question.

Quiz Instructions:

While you are taking the quiz, we advise you not referring to any course materials. After you Submit your answers, you may self-reflect the missing points, review relevant contents as necessary, and retake the quiz again until you get the full points

Answer the following questions to see how well you have learnt in this topic: