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Experimental Setup for Splash Erosion Monitoring-Study of Silty Loam Splash Characteristics

Experimental Setup for Splash Erosion Monitoring-Study of Silty Loam Splash Characteristics

Sustainability 12(1): 157

ISSN/ISBN: 2071-1050

DOI: 10.3390/su12010157

An experimental laboratory setup was developed and evaluated in order to investigate detachment of soil particles by raindrop splash impact. The soil under investigation was a silty loam Cambisol, which is typical for agricultural fields in Central Europe. The setup consisted of a rainfall simulator and soil samples packed into splash cups (a plastic cylinder with a surface area of 78.5 cm(2)) positioned in the center of sediment collectors with an outer diameter of 45 cm. A laboratory rainfall simulator was used to simulate rainfall with a prescribed intensity and kinetic energy. Photographs of the soil's surface before and after the experiments were taken to create digital models of relief and to calculate changes in surface roughness and the rate of soil compaction. The corresponding amount of splashed soil ranged between 10 and 1500 g m(-2) h(-1). We observed a linear relationship between the rainfall kinetic energy and the amount of the detached soil particles. The threshold kinetic energy necessary to initiate the detachment process was 354 J m(-2) h(-1). No significant relationship between rainfall kinetic energy and splashed sediment particle-size distribution was observed. The splash erosion process exhibited high variability within each repetition, suggesting a sensitivity of the process to the actual soil surface microtopography.

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Accession: 070994103

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