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Sediment concentration in interrill flow: interactions between soil surface conditions, vegetation and rainfall

Abstract : A database composed of 673 natural rainfall events with sediment concentration measurements at the field or plot scale was analysed. Measurements were conducted on similar soil type (loess soils prone to scaling phenomenon) to apprehend the variability and complexity involved in interrill erosion processes attributable to soil surface conditions. The effects of the dominant controlling factors are not described by means of equations; rather, we established a classification of potential sediment concentration domain according to combination of the dominant parameters. Thereby, significant differences and evolution trends of mean sediment concentration between the different parameter categories are identified. Further, when parameter influences interact, it allows us to discern the relative effects of factors according to their respective degree of expression. It was shown that crop cover had a major influence on mean sediment concentration, particularly when soil surface roughness is low and when maximum 6-min intensity of rainfall events exceeds 10 mm h(-1): mean sediment concentration decreases from 8.93 g l(-1) for 0-20 per cent of coverage to 0.97 g l(-1) for 21-60 per cent of coverage. The established classification also indicates that the increase of the maximum 6-min intensity of the rainfall factor leads to a linear increase of mean sediment concentration for crop cover over 21 per cent (e.g. from 2.96 g l(-1) to 14.44 g l(-1) for the 1-5 cm roughness class) and to an exponential increase for low crop cover (e.g. from 3.92 g l(-1) to 58-76 g l(-1) for the 1-5 cm roughness class). The implication of this work may bring perspective for erosion prediction modelling and give references for the development of interrill erosion equation. Copyright (C) 2002 John Wiley Sons, Ltd.
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Olivier Cerdan, Yves Le Bissonnais, Véronique Souchère, Philippe Martin, V. Lecomte. Sediment concentration in interrill flow: interactions between soil surface conditions, vegetation and rainfall. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, Wiley, 2002, 27 (2), pp.193-205. ⟨10.1002/esp.314⟩. ⟨hal-02683165⟩

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