Earth surface processes and landforms vol:24 issue:6 pages:545-556
Knowledge of drop size distributions is important for deriving various rain erosivity parameters. This study investigates the potential of an optical spectro pluviometer (OSP) to measure drop size distributions. Particular attention is paid to the impact of drop sample size and derived erosivity parameters. An experimental set-up using a rainfall simulator and an OSP is described. The OSP allows a continuous real-time sampling of the drops. Results on drop size distributions and sampling effects are discussed. A simulation aimed at reproducing the sampling made with the widely used flour-pellet or filter-paper method is described. From this simulation, recommendations on the sample size of the collected drops needed for an accurate determination of median drop size and kinetic energy are given. Past studies reporting drop size characteristics have often used too small a sample for an adequate description of rain erosivity. Copyright (C) 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.