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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 51 No. 6, p. 1566-1571
    Received: Dec 29, 1986

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Interrill Soil Erosion Processes: I. Effect of Surface Sealing on Infiltration, Runoff, and Soil Splash Detachment1

  1. J. M. Bradford,
  2. J. E. Ferris and
  3. P. A. Remley2



Soil erosion from interrill areas is a function primarily of soil detachment by raindrop impact and transport capacity of thin sheet flow. Soil detachment normally is the rate-determining process and is controlled, to a large extent, by surface sealing and crusting. The purpose of this study was to measure the effect of surface sealing on infiltration, runoff, and soil loss for 20 soils ranging in texture from sand to clay. Wash and splash erosion were measured for near-saturated soils in 0.14-m2 Al pans exposed to laboratory simulated rainfall with an intensity of about 63 mm/h for 1 h. For most soils, wash and splash amounts decreased with time due to surface sealing with the decrease in wash being much less than the decrease in splash. Comparing the 20 soils, surface sealing caused a reduction in infiltration rate ranging from 1.2 to 36.0 mm/h and an increase in shear strength ranging from 2.6 to 42.3 kPa, resulting in a decrease in total soil loss ranging from 13.3 to 56.8 g/5 min. Total soil loss, splash, and wash were highly intercorrelated (p < 0.001).

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