Table of Contents
ISRN Soil Science
Volume 2012, Article ID 310927, 7 pages
Research Article

Within-Storm Rainfall Distribution Effect on Soil Erosion Rate

1School of Engineering, University of Guelph, Albert A. Thornbrough Building, 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, ON, Canada N1G 2W1
2Golder Associates Ltd., Mississauga, ON, Canada L5N 5Z7

Received 21 February 2012; Accepted 29 April 2012

Academic Editors: G. Benckiser, L. D. Chen, A. E. M. Chirnside, J. M. Dorioz, and B. S. Sharratt

Copyright © 2012 S. I. Ahmed et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study investigates the effect of rainfall temporal distribution pattern within a storm event on soil erosion rate and the possibility of using rain power type model for rainfall erosivity. Various rainfall distribution patterns, simulated by rainfall simulator, were used on 1.0 m2 plot of silica sand and loam soil with a minimum of three replications. The results show that the soil erosion rates spiked following every sharp increase in rainfall intensity followed by a gradual decline to a steady erosion rate. Transient effects resulted in the soil erosion rates for an oscillatory rainfall distribution to be more than two fold higher than those obtained for a steady-state rainfall intensity event with same duration and same average rainfall intensity. The 3-parameter and 4-parameter rain power models were developed for a process-based measure of rainfall erosivity. The 4 parameter model yielded better match with the observed data and predicted soil erosion rates more accurately for silica sand under all rainfall distributions, and good results for loam soil under low intensity rainfall. More research is necessary to improve the accuracy of soil erosion prediction models for a wider range of rainfall distributions.