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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 59 No. 2, p. 519-526
    Received: Aug 23, 1993

    * Corresponding author(s):
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Laboratory Determination of Interrill Soil Erodibility

  1. C. C. Truman  and
  2. J. M. Bradford
  1. USDA-ARS Southeast Watershed Research Lab., P.O. Box 946, Tifton, GA 31793
    USDA-ARS Subtropical Agricultural Research Lab., 2301 South International Blvd., Weslaco, TX 78596



Laboratory soil pans and rainfall simulators have been used to study fundamental erosion processes affecting interrill soil loss. Problems exist when laboratory results are extended to those determined under field conditions. Experimental methodology influences a soil's interrill erodibility and interrill erodibility ranking among soils. We compared interrill soil loss and erodibility data from two erosion pans with field data from identical soils. Three plot size-rainfall simulator methodologies were used: (1) 0.14-m2 lab pan under a constant drop size (4.6 mm) rainfall simulator, (2) 0.32-m2 lab pan with soil border areas under an oscillating nozzle (2.3 mm median drop diameter) rainfall simulator, and (3) 1-m2 field plots under the same rainfall simulator as used in Method 2. Soil loss was measured at 5-min intervals. Interrill erodibility (Ki) was calculated from two equations (E = KiiI2 and E = KiqIq) using measured soil loss (E), rainfall intensity (I), and flow discharge (q) values. The interrill erosion equation, methodology, time, and initial water content influenced calculated Ki values. Soil loss and Ki values from Method 1 did not correlate with and were greater than corresponding values from Methods 2 and 3. Soil loss and Ki values from Method 2 were correlated (r = 0.56 to 0.79) with corresponding values from Method 3. The Kiq values decreased with time and were a function of soil properties related to soil detachment and sediment transport. The Kii values (i) increased with time, (ii) were primarily a function of soil properties related to soil detachment only, and (iii) did not account for infiltration and runoff differences among soils.

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