The Selectivity of Soil Particles in Relation to Flow Characteristics in Rill Erosion

Document Type : Research Paper


Soil Science Department, Agriculture Faculty, University of Zanjan, Zanjan, Iran-


Rill erosion is an important form of water erosion on cultivated slopes. Rills are flow paths that are created by concentrated flow on hillslope and causes higher rates of soil loss. The amount and type of particles transferred through the rills or the selectivity of the particles may be affected by various factors, especially the flow rate. This study was conducted to investigate the rill erosion and the particle selectivity under the flow characteristics. Field experiment was done in a rainfed land with a slope gradient of 10% in the rills/furrows with 6 m in long under different flow intensities (2, 2.5, 3, 3.5 and 4) using a randomized complete block with three replications. Field measurements were performed using a flow rate of 3 lit min-1 at intervals of 5-min for 60 min. Rill erosion and the particle selectivity were determined along with flow characteristics for various flow intensities. Significant correlations were found between flow intensity and flow characteristics (velocity, shear stress and power), rill erosion and the selectivity of particles. With an increase in flow rate, flow characteristics increased in the rills and enhanced rill erosion as well as the selectivity of sand and clay, whereas the selectivity of silt decreased in the rills. Silt showed the highest sensitivity to selection by concentrated flow, so that flows with lower shear stress could erode it from the rills. Wholly, this study revealed that the flow rate is the most flow characteristics influencing rill erosion and the selectivity of soil particles. 


Ahmadi, H. 2008. Applied Geomorphology. Volume One (Water Erosion), University of Tehran, Third Edition, 668.
Asadi, H., Vali, M. and Nasiri Saleh., 2021. Laboratory Study of the Motion Threshold and Temporal Variation of Sediment Concentration in Flow-induced Erosion. Iranian Journal of Soil and Water Research 51(7), 1869-1880.
Asadi, H., Ghaderi, H., Hosseni, J., Hogarth, W.L. and Parhange, J.Y. 2007. Dynamic erosion of soil in steady sheet flow. Journal of Hydrology. 333 (2–4), 449–458.
Bouyoucos, G. J. 1962. Hydrometer method improved for making particle size analysis of soils. Agronomy Journal. 54(5), 464-466.
Borrelli, P., Robinson, D.A., Fleischer, L.R., Lugato, E., Ballabio, C., Alewell, C., Meusburger, K., Modugno, S., Schutt, B., Ferro, V., Bagarello, V., Van Oost, K., Montanarella, L., Panagos, P., 2017. An assessment of the global impact of the 21st century land use change on soil erosion. Nat. Commun. 8, 1–13.
Farmer, E.E. 1973. Relative detachability of soil particles by simulated rainfall. Soil Science Society American Journal 37, 629–633.
Foster, G.R., Flanagan, D.C., Nearing. M.A., Lane, L.J., Risse, L.M. and Finkner, C. 1995.Hill slope erosion component. Chapter 11, In: Flanagan, D.C. and Nearing, M.A., (Eds.), USDA-Water Erosion Prediction Project,Technical Documentation. NSERL. Report No. 10, National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory,WestLafayette, Indiana.
Gumiere, S.J., Le Bissonnais, Y. and Raclot, D. 2009. Soil resistance to interrill erosion: Model parameterization and sensitivity. Catena 77, 274–284.
Govers, G., Gimenez, R. and Oost, K.V. 2007. Rill erosion: exploring the relationship between experiments, modeling and field observations. Earth Science Reviews. 8, 87–102.
Hao, H., Wang, J., Guo, Z. and Li, h. 2019. Water erosion processes and dynamic changes of sediment size distribution under the combined effects of rainfall and overland flow. Catena 173, 494–504.
He, J.J., Li, X.J., Jia, L.J., Gong, H.L. and Cai, Q.G., 2014. Experimental study of rill evolution processes and relationships between runoff and erosion on clay loam and loess. Soil Science Society of  America Journal , 78, 1716–1725.
Jiang, F., Zhan, Z. and Chen, J. 2018. Rill erosion processes on a steep colluvial deposit slope under heavy rainfall in flume experiments with artificial rain. Catena169, 46-58.
Kimaro, D.N., Poesen, J., Msanya, B.M. and Deckers, J.A., 2008. Magnitude of soil erosion on the northern slope of the Uluguru Mountains, Tanzania: interrill and rill erosion. Catena 75, 38–44.
Li, M., Zhan-bi, L., Dingd, W.L. and Yaoa, W., 2006. Using rare earth element tracers and neutron activation analysis to study rill erosion process. Applied Radiation and Isotopes , 64, 402-408.
Meyer, L. D. and Horton, W.C. 1984. Succeptibility of agriculture soil to interrill erosion. Soil Science Society of  America Journal,32, 1152-1157.
Morgan R. P. C. 1995. Soil Erosion and Conservation. Second Edition. Longman Group Ltd. U.K. 290 p
Nearing, M.A., Norton, L.D., Bulgakov, D.A. and Larionov, G.A., 1997. Hydraulics and erosion in eroding rills. Water Resources Research. 33 (4), 865–876.
Romero, C.C. Stroosnijder, L. and Guillermo, A.B. 2007. Interrill and rill erodibility in the northern Andean Highlands. Catena 70, 105-113.
Rongsheng F. and Zhanbin L. 1993. Rainsplash and sediment transport model on the slope. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 6, 24-29.
Rienzi, E.A., Fox, J.F., Grove, J.H. and Matocha, C.H. 2013. Interrill erosion in soils with different land uses: The kinetic energy wetting effect on temporal particle size distribution. Catena 107, 130–138.
Sadeghian, N. and Vaezi, A.L. 2019. Selectivity of Particles through Rill Erosion in Different Soil Textures. Journal of Hydrology and Soil Science 23(2), 1-12.
Shi, Z. H., Fang, N.F., Wu, F.Z., Wang, L., Yue, B.J. and Wu, G.L. 2012. Soil erosion processes and sediment sorting associated with transport mechanisms on steep slopes. Journal of Hydrology 454, 123– 130.
Vaezi, A.R. and Vatani, A., 2015. Determining Rill Erodibility in Some Soils in Zanjan Province Under Simulated Rainfall. Journal of Hydrology and Soil Science 19, 59-68.
Vaezi, A.R. 1399. Water erosion (processes and models), second edition, Zanjan University Press.
Vaezi, A.L. and Heidari, M. 2018. The Effect of Wheat Straw on Flow Characteristics and Rill Erosion in Wheat Rainfed Field.Iranian Journal of Soil and Water Research 50(1), 53-63.
Vaezi. A.L., Noghan. M. and Foroumadi. M. 2017. Dependency of runoff characteristics on the plot scale in rainfed land under semi-arid rainfalls. Journal of Water and Soil Resources Conservation 7(1), 15-29.
Vatani. A. and Vaezi, A.L. 2014. Soil loss in Rills and Its Temporal Variation During Rainfall in Different Soil Textures. Quarterly Journal of Water and Soil Knowledge 24(3), 83-92.
Valettea, S. Prevosta Laurent, L. and Lucasa, J. 2006. SoDA project: A simulation of soil surfacedegradation by rainfall. Gilles Computers and Graphics.30, 494-506.
Wang, L., Z. H. Shi. 2016. Size selectivity of eroded sediment associated with soil texture on steep slopes. Soil Science Society of American Journal 79, 917-929.
Wang, S., Fu, B., Piao, S., Lü, Y., Ciais, P., Feng, X. and Wang, Y., 2016. Reduced sediment transport in the Yellow River due to anthropogenic changes. Nature Geoscience. 9 (1), 38.
Wirtz, S., Seeger, M. and Ries, J.B., 2010. The rill experiment as a method to approach quantification of rill erosion process activity. Geomorphol. 54, 47–64.
Wirtz, S., Seeger, M., Remke, A., Wengel, R., Wagner, J. F. and Ries, J.B., 2013. Do deterministic sediment detachment and transport equations adequately represent the process-interactions in eroding rills An experimental field study. Catena 101, 61–78.
Hao, H., Wang, J., Guo, Z. and Li, h. 2019. Water erosion processes and dynamic changes of sediment size distribution under the combined effects of rainfall and overland flow. Catena 173, 494–504.
Zangh, H.W., Chen, S.C. and Xu, S.G. 2010. Soil loss and conservation in the black soil region of Northeast China. a retrospective study Environmental Science and Policy 8, 793-800.
Zhu, X., Fu, S., Wu, Q. and Wang, A., 2019. Soil detachment capacity of shallow overland flow in Earth-Rocky Mountain Area of Southwest China. Geoderma (361), 114021.