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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Modeling Rain Erosivity Using Disdrometric Techniques


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 62 No. 3, p. 731-735
    Received: July 2, 1996

    * Corresponding author(s): jeroni@mizar.am.ub.es
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  1. Carlos Cerro,
  2. Joan Bech,
  3. Bernat Codina and
  4. Jeroni Lorente 
  1. Department of Astronomy and Meteorology, Univ. of Barcelona, Av. Diagonal 647, E-08028, Barcelona, Spain



The erosive effect produced by direct raindrop impact on the soil surface may be quantified in terms of the raindrop kinetic energy (KE). This variable is usually calculated from the rainfall rate even though a precise description of the raindrop size distribution is required. In this study, raindrop size and fall velocities were measured for 2 yr in Barcelona, Spain, with an optical disdrometer. Fitted drop-size distributions were used to obtain relationships between raindrop KE and rainfall rate. A comparison between KE calculated from experimental distributions indicated that the lognormal distribution model was most suitable to provide a KE-rainfall rate relation. Predicted KE values from this relationship had better agreement with observations (differences of 7%) than predicted values from other models based on different rainfall conditions.

This study was partly supported by the Spanish Dirección General de Ciencia y Tecnología (Project AMB94-0948) and the European Commission (Contract EV5V-CT92-0168).

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