Earth surface processes and landforms vol:32 issue:7 pages:1063-1076
Rock fragments can act as a controlling factor for erosional rates and patterns in the landscape. Thus, the objective of this study is to better understand the role that rock fragments incorporated into the soil matrix play in concentrated flow hydraulics and erosion. Laboratory flume experiments were conducted with soil material that was mixed with rock fragments. Rock fragment content ranged from 0 to 40 per cent by volume. Other treatments were slope (7 and 14%) and flow discharge (5(.)7 and 11(.)41 min(-1)). An increase in rock fragment content resulted in lower sediment yield, and broader width of How. Rock fragment cover at the soil surface, i.e. surface armour, increased with time in experiments with rock fragments. Flow energy was largely dissipated by rock fragment cover. For more turbulent flow conditions, when roughness elements were submerged in the flow, hydraulic roughness was similar for different rock fragment contents. In experiments with few or no rock fragments a narrow rill incised. Flow energy was dissipated by headcuts. Total sediment yield was much larger than for experiments with rock fragments in the soil. Adding just a small number of rock fragments in the soil matrix resulted in a significant reduction of sediment yield. Copyright (c) 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.