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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2020, Vol. 19 Issue (4): 1117-1126    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(19)62719-X
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Effects of sediment load on the abrasion of soil aggregate and hydraulic parameters in experimental overland flow
WANG Jun-guang1, YU Bing2, NI Shi-min1, GUO Zhong-lu1, CAI Chong-fa1      
1 Key Laboratory of Arable Land Conservation (Middle and Lower Reaches of Yangtze River), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs/College of Resources and Environment, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070. P.R.China
2 Hubei Water Resources Research Institute, Wuhan 430070. P.R.China
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The breakdown of soil aggregates under rainfall and their abrasion in overland flow are important processes in water erosion due to the production of more fine and transportable particles and, the subsequent significant effect on the erosion intensity.  Currently, little is known about the effects of sediment load on the soil aggregate abrasion and the relationship of this abrasion with some related hydraulic parameters.  Here, the potential effects of sediment load on soil aggregate abrasion and hydraulic parameters in overland flow were investigated through a series of experiments in a 3.8-m-long hydraulic flume at the slope gradients of 8.7 and 26.8%, unit flow discharges from 2×10–3 to 6×10–3 m2 s−1, and the sediment concentration from 0 to 110 kg m–3.  All the aggregates from Ultisols developed Quaternary red clay, Central China.  The results indicated that discharge had the most significant (P<0.01) effect on the aggregates abrasion with the contributions of 58.76 and 60.34%, followed by sediment feed rate, with contributions of 39.66 and 34.12% at the slope gradients of 8.7 and 26.8%, respectively.  The abrasion degree of aggregates was found to increase as a power function of the sediment concentration.  Meanwhile, the flow depth, friction factor, and shear stress increased as a power function along with the increase of sediment concentration at different slope gradients and discharges.  Reynolds number was obviously affected by sediment concentration and it decreased as sediment concentration increased.  The ratio of the residual weight to the initial weight of soil aggregates (Wr/Wi) was found to increase as the linear function with an increasing flow depth (P=0.008) or Reynolds number (P=0.002) in the sediment-laden flow.  The Wr/Wi values followed a power function decrease with increasing friction factor or shear stress in the sediment-laden flow, indicating that friction factor is the best hydraulic parameter for prediction of soil aggregate abrasion under different sediment load conditions.  The information regarding the soil aggregate abrasion under various sediment load conditions can facilitate soil process-based erosion modeling.
Keywords:  soil aggregate        sediment load        hydraulic parameters        overland flow  
Received: 03 January 2019   Accepted: 04 March 2020
Fund: This research was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41771304) and the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFC0505404).
Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence GUO Zhong-lu, Mobile: +86-18007112207, E-mail:,   
About author:  WANG Jun-guang, Mobile: +86-13207166429, E-mail:;

Cite this article: 

WANG Jun-guang, YU Bing, NI Shi-min, GUO Zhong-lu, CAI Chong-fa. 2020. Effects of sediment load on the abrasion of soil aggregate and hydraulic parameters in experimental overland flow. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 19(4): 1117-1126.

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