Characteristics of pulsed runoff-erosion events under typical rainstorms in a small watershed on the Loess Plateau of China
OPEN Scientific reports | 1 Mar 2018
L Wu, J Jiang, GX Li and XY Ma
The pulsed events of rainstorm erosion on the Loess Plateau are well-known, but little information is available concerning the characteristics of superficial soil erosion processes caused by heavy rainstorms at the watershed scale. This study statistically evaluated characteristics of pulsed runoff-erosion events based on 17 observed rainstorms from 1997-2010 in a small loess watershed on the Loess Plateau of China. Results show that: 1) Rainfall is the fundamental driving force of soil erosion on hillslopes, but the correlations of rainfall-runoff and rainfall-sediment in different rainstorms are often scattered due to infiltration-excess runoff and soil conservation measures. 2) Relationships between runoff and sediment for each rainstorm event can be regressed by linear, power, logarithmic and exponential functions. Cluster Analysis is helpful in classifying runoff-erosion events and formulating soil conservation strategies for rainstorm erosion. 3) Response characteristics of sediment yield are different in different levels of pulsed runoff-erosion events. Affected by rainfall intensity and duration, large changes may occur in the interactions between flow and sediment for different flood events. Results provide new insights into runoff-erosion processes and will assist soil conservation planning in the loess hilly region.
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