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Runoff hydraulic characteristics and sediment generation in sloped grassplots under simulated rainfall conditions

Pan, C., Shangguan, Z.
Journal of hydrology 2006 v.331 no.1-2 pp. 178-185
hills, slope, runoff, grasses, rainfall simulation, water erosion, sediment yield, overland flow
Evaluation of grass influence on soil erosion process can provide important information in soil and water conservation. The laboratory experiment was conducted to study runoff and sediment producing processes and runoff hydraulics in the grassplots with different covers (35%, 45%, 65% and 90%) and bare soil plot (control) at a slope of 15°. The results showed that grass significantly reduced runoff and sediment. Compared with bare soil plot, the grassplots had a 14-25% less runoff and an 81-95% less sediment, and played a more important role in reducing sediment at the final stage of rainfall. There was a significantly negative logarithmic relationship between sediment yield rate (SDR) and cover (C): SDR = 1.077-2.911 ln(C) (R² = 0.999**). Sediment yield rate of grassplots decreased with rainfall duration, and decreased linearly as runoff rate increased. Overland flow velocities deceased with increase in grass cover, and the cover had greater effect on lower slope velocity than upper one. Froude numbers decreased with increase in cover, and flow regimes of all treatments were laminar and tranquil. Darcy-Weisbach and Manning friction coefficients of grassplots increased as ground cover increased. Therefore, increase in grass coverage can efficiently reduce soil loss and improve ecological environments.