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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Size Distribution of Eroded Material From Simulated Rainfall: Effect Over a Range of Texture1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 42 No. 6, p. 954-958
    Received: June 27, 1977
    Accepted: Aug 30, 1978

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  1. D. Gabriels and
  2. W. C. Moldenhauer2



Size distribution of eroded materials has implications in deposition mechanics and in carrying capacity for pollutant materials. Dispersed clay stays in suspension virtually as long as water is moving. This dispersed clay, especially the expanding lattice types, has a high carrying capacity for pollutant materials. The aggregated materials high in clay settle according to their size and density. Their carrying capacity for pollutants is assumed to be much greater than that of single-grained materials of the same size. Studies of the carrying capacities of the various sizes and compositions of aggregates are in progress. The present study reports size distributions and composition of material detached by water drops and transported in shallow flow.

The size distributions of aggregates and primary particles in the splashed, washed, and seal material at different times during a laboratory simulated rainfall were compared for different textured soils. The wash had more finer material than did the splash. The wash and splash material at equilibrium were not different from the original soil, while the seal of all soils had a larger silt content than the original soils. The silt loam soil had seals with about the same clay content as the original soil, while silty clay soils had seals with less clay than the original soils.

Of significance from this study is the low percentage of dispersed clay being eroded compared to the percent of clay in the original soil and that this percentage didn't change significantly with time. The most striking differences were between soils and these were influenced mainly by texture and aggregate condition of the original soils.

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