Predicting sediment transport by interrill overland flow on rough surfaces

TitlePredicting sediment transport by interrill overland flow on rough surfaces
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsAbrahams AD, Li G, Krishnan C, Atkinson JF
JournalEarth Surface Processes and Landforms
Date Published1998
Accession NumberJRN00261
Call Number00725
Keywordsarticle, articles, hydrology, model, hydrology, sediment transport, journal, journals, model,sediment yields

Modeling soil erosion requires an equation for predicting the sediment transport capacity by interrill overland flow on rough surfaces. The conventional practice of partitioning total shear stress into grain and form shear stress and predicting transport capacity using grain shear stress lacks rigor and is prone to underestimation. This study therefore explores the possibility that inasmuch as surface roughness affects flow hydraulic variables which, in turn, determine transport capacity, there may be one or more hydraulic variables which capture the effect of surface roughness on transport capacity sufficiently well for good predictions of transport capacity to be achieved from data on these variables alone. To investigate this possibility, regression analyses were performed on data from 1506 flume experiments in which discharge, slope, water temperature, rainfall intensity, and roughness size, shape and concentration were varied. The analyses reveal that 89.8 per cent of the variance in transport capacity can be accounted for by excess flow power and flow depth. Including roughness size and concentration in the regression improves that explained variance by only 3.5 per cent. Evidently, flow depth, when used in combination with excess flow power, largely captures the effect of surface roughness on transport capacity. This finding promises to simplify greatly the task of developing a general sediment transport equation for interrill overland flow on rough surfaces. ©1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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