V.V. Dokuchaev Soil Science Institute

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Assessment of the soil infiltration capacity using a portable rain simulator

Yu. P. Sukhanovskiy, V. A. Vytovtov, A. V. Prushchik, Yu. A. Solovieva, S. I. Sanzharova

All-Russian Research Institute of Arable Farming and Soil Erosion Control, 305021, Kursk, K. Marx st., Russia

Under consideration is the possible assessment of the soil infiltration capacity by using a portable rain simulator to irrigate a small area without the rill erosion development. To assess the soil infiltration capacity, an equation has been earlier suggested including the erosion index of rain AI to be a criterion of similarity. The equation was verified for natural rainfall (in catchments and runoff plots) as well as for artificial rainfall (in runoff plots 5 m long and 5 m2 in area). It was shown that the small-sized runoff plots display no rill erosion and can be used for assessing the soil infiltration capacity. To verify this affirmation, two experiments were conducted, one of them included a large rain simulator and a runoff plot in field (3 m long and 3 m2 in area, where the rill erosion occurred); in the other experiment carried out in laboratory with the use of soil monoliths taken in the same field a portable rain simulator and a runoff plot shaped as a cycle with the area of 0.05 m2 were used (without the rill erosion development). Every rain simulator revealed the same size of raindrops, they fell from the same height; the rainfall intensity was constant, but the values of these parameters seemed to be different. The dependence between the soil infiltration capacity and the index of rain AI proved to be very close in both experiments. The use of the portable rain simulator requires expenditures to a lesser extent.

Keywords: natural and artificial rainfalls, criterion of similarity, infiltration, runoff plots, chernozem.


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