Impact of Initial Soil Moisture and Rainfall Energy on Splash Erosion Characteristics of Black Soil Aggregate

1. School of Soil and Water Conservation,Beijing Forestry University

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    To investigate the influence of rainfall energy and initial moisture content on the mechanism of soil aggregate splashing erosion, a typical cultivated black soil from the Northeastern region of China was selected as the research object. Artificial simulated rainfall experiments were conducted to explore the splashing erosion characteristics of soil aggregates with varying initial moisture content, rainfall energy, and initial particle size of aggregates. Results showed that: (1) the splash erosion of the soil aggregates was highest when the initial soil moisture level was 4%. Additionally, among the four different initial aggregate size groups, the aggregates with an initial particle size <0.25 mm experienced the greatest splash erosion. In fact, their splash erosion was1.21-5.50 times greater than the other three particle size groups under the same rainfall energy conditions. Furthermore, as the initial soil moisture increased, the splash erosion of the aggregates within each particle size group decreased initially, but then started to increase once the initial soil moisture surpassed 25%. (2) The splash erosion of the black soil aggregates increased with the increase alongside higher rainfall energy. When the rainfall energy reached 909 (J/m2)/h (equivalent to 5 m), the splash erosion of the different-sized black soil aggregates increased significantly. For aggregates with an initial particle size of <0.25 mm, the splash erosion rose by 15.37-20.70 times compared to the rainfall energy of 305 (J/m2)/h (equivalent to 1 m). Similarly, for particle size ranging from 0.25-1 mm, 1-3 mm, and 3-5 mm, the splash erosion increased by 52.30-417.60 times, 51.58-359.36 times, and 68.73-777.99 times, respectively. Notably, a clear threshold was observed for splash erosion of aggregates with different initial particle size. When the rainfall energy exceeded 529 (J/m2)/h (equivalent to 2 m), there was a significant difference in splash erosion between different rainfall energy gradients. (3) The analysis highlighted that rainfall energy was the primary factor affecting splash erosion. It exhibited a direct effect with a correlation coefficient of 0.811, demonstrating a significant positive influence. Conversely, the direct effects of initial soil moisture and initial particle size of aggregations were significantly negative, with correlation coefficients of 0.193 and 0.352, respectively. The research findings can provide a scientific basis for investigating the mechanisms of slope soil erosion in the black soil regions of Northeast China, as well as for establishing process-based models for soil erosion.

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  • Received:July 27,2023
  • Revised:September 07,2023
  • Adopted:September 08,2023
  • Online: January 27,2024
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