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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Energy Dissipation for Water Drop Impact into Shallow Pools1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 49 No. 6, p. 1537-1542
    Received: Sept 7, 1984
    Accepted: July 15, 1985

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  1. Alfredo G. Ferreira and
  2. Michael J. Singer2



The literature reports that the presence of a shallow layer of water over the soil during a rainfall event is associated with more soil loss than the sum of the soil loss produced by rainfall and overland flow separately. The mechanism for this increase in raindrop effectiveness is not fully understood. We photographed, at 1000 frames s−1, the splashes of 3.2-mm diam drops that were falling at close to terminal velocities into static water. During impact crater closing, soil from the pool bed was lifted. Energy calculations showed that the kinetic energy during crater closing generally reached a larger value than during crater opening. This may be responsible for the lifting of soil particles that were disaggregated during drop impact and crater formation and explain why a shallow water layer over the soil surface increases the erosive efficiency of raindrops.

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