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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

A Solenoid-Operated, Variable Intensity Rainfall Simulator1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 51 No. 3, p. 832-834
    Received: Aug 8, 1986

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  1. W. P. Miller2



A portable, variable-intensity, low-cost rainfall simulator is described for use in small pan runoff-erosion studies, and which can be adapted to larger plot studies for field use. Intensity is controlled by electrically operated solenoid valves into which wide square spray nozzles are fitted. The opening and closing of the solenoid valves, controlled via switches operated by a rotating cam or microcomputer, varies the intensity of rainfall from 0.0004 mm s−1 to approximately 0.024 mm s−1, at 29 kPa water pressure. Coefficients of uniformity for 1 m2 plots under a single nozzle are 90 to 95%, and 85 to 90% for 1- by 3-m field plots using a three nozzle system. Kinetic energy of the rainfall, determined from drop size distributions, is about 23 J m−2 mm−1, which is within the range for natural rainfall.

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