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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

New Methods of Studying Soil Detachment due to Waterdrop Impact1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 45 No. 5, p. 949-953
    Received: Mar 13, 1981
    Accepted: June 15, 1981

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  1. M. Al-Durrah and
  2. J. M. Bradford2



An improved and inexpensive raindrop tower 8.9 m in height was designed so that a single drop will hit a soil target area 1.6 cm in diameter. The soil used in this study was taken from the surface 15 cm of an Ida silt loam (mesic Typic Udorthents). The surface shear strength was altered by remolding the soil to three bulk densities and by equilibrating the cores to matric potentials of −5, −19, −38, and −62 mbars. The weight of soil detached from the impact of single water-drops 3.0, 4.6, and 5.6 mm in diameter was closely correlated with the undrained soil shear strength as measured by the Swedish fall-cone device. A correlation coefficient of 0.97 was found between splash weight and a linear function of the ratio of waterdrop kinetic energy to the soil shear strength. The fall-cone method of determining soil shearing strength is rapid, inexpensive, and could be easily adapted to field use.

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