Earth surface processes and landforms vol:17 issue:5 pages:515-528
A relationship between discharge, flow velocity and flow area in rills is established using data from four field and laboratory studies. The proposed relationship is shown to predict successfully flow velocities measured in six other studies. Although slopes range from 0.035 to 0.45 and soil materials range from stony sands over silt loams to vertisols, mean flow velocity can be well predicted from discharge alone. Thus, there is no important influence of slope and/or soil material characteristics on flow velocities in rills. The proposed relationship may be used to improve performance of deterministic flow routing models when applied to rilled catchments. Furthermore, it allows the calculation of unit stream power, which has been shown to be related to the transporting capacity of overland flow, in terms of slope and discharge.