Earth surface processes and landforms vol:16 issue:8 pages:713-729
The paper reports on experiments carried out to evaluate the effect of the initial soil moisture profile on temporal variations in runoff erosion rate. The moisture profile was varied by applying infrared heating to the soil sample surface over various time periods, while runoff erosivity was varied by varying the slope of the flume. The experiment confirms that dry loamy soils are very erodible: on a slope length of only 4.3 m long sediment concentrations are near transporting capacity in case of a dry soil sample. It appears that temporal variations in sediment concentrations can be well simulated using a simple relationship between runoff erosion resistance and initial soil moisture content, thereby implicitly assuming that the effect of initial moisture content is persistent over the whole duration of the experiment. The implications of these findings with respect to the modelling of sediment output from larger catchments and the design of experiments on rill erodibility are discussed.