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The effects of rainfall regimes and terracing on runoff and erosion in the Three Gorges area, China
- Xu, Qin-xue, Wu, Pan, Dai, Jun-feng, Wang, Tian-wei, Li, Zhao-xia, Cai, Chong-fa, Shi, Zhi-hua
- Environmental science and pollution research international 2018 v.25 no.10 pp. 9474-9484
- Citrus, climate change, crop management, cropland, orchards, rain, rain intensity, runoff, soil erosion, terracing, China
- Changes in natural rainfall regimes have taken place and are expected to become more pronounced in future decades. These changes are also likely to be accompanied by changes in crop management practices. The main purpose of this study was to analyze runoff and soil loss in relation to rainfall regimes and terracing in the Three Gorges area, China. Based on 10 years of field observation and k-mean clusters, 101 rainfall events were grouped into three rainfall regimes. Rainfall regime I was the group of events with strong rainfall intensity, high frequency, and short duration. Rainfall regime III consisted of events with low intensity, long duration, and high rainfall amount. Rainfall regime II was the aggregation of events of high intensity and amount, and less frequent occurrence. The results showed that event runoff coefficients were not significantly different among rainfall regimes. However, the average soil erosion rates in rainfall regimes I and II were significantly higher than that in regime III. The average erosion rates under rainfall regimes I, II, and III were 21.6, 39.7, and 9.8 g m⁻², respectively. The effect of rainfall regime on soil erosion also was changed by terracing. On unterraced cropland, soil erosion rate in rainfall regime I is significantly higher than that in regime III. However, the situation did not exist in unterraced orchard. Terracing significantly reduced runoff and soil erosion, and compensated the effects of rainfall regime on soil erosion, which indicated that runoff and erosion in terraced system may be little influenced by climate change. Based on these results, it was suggested more attention should be paid to the timing of rainfall events in relation to crop development and the high erosion on unterraced citrus orchard to control soil erosion in this area.