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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Interrill Soil Erosion and Slope Steepness Factors

Authors
item Bradford, Joe
item Foster, George

Submitted to: Soil Science Society of America Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 10, 1995
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Interrill soil erosion models assume a constant slope steepness term for all soils and soil conditions. The results of this research show that both antecedent soil moisture and soil texture alter the slope steepness term for accurate erosion prediction.

Technical Abstract: Interrill erosion models assume a constant slope steepness term as a function of slope angle. To test the hypothesis that the slope steepness term varies with antecedent soil moisture and soil texture, we determined the effect of slope steepness on soil loss for five soils from clay to silt loam in texture with wet or dry antecedent soil water contents. Interrill sediment yield (wash), splash detachment, runoff, and sediment size were measured in laboratory erosion pans under simulated 90-min, 72-mm/h rainfall at 9 and 20% slopes. As slope steepness increased, splash decreased for three soil treatments and increased for the other five treatments. Splashed sediment and sediment yields were not correlated. Change in splash with increased slope steepness was correlated (r=0.96) with change in sediment yield. Mean weight diameter (MWD) of splash was, on the average, about twice greater than MWD of wash. MWD of both splash and wash was significantly (r=0.0001) influenced by soil type and antecedent moisture, but MWD of splash and wash was uncorrelated with amount of splash and wash, respectively. The results emphasize the importance of quantifying terms in erosion equations in relation to specific erosion processes.

Last Modified: 11/24/2014
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