The effect of rainfall characteristics on splash erosion under crop covers
Keywords:Rainfall erosivity, Soil splash, Crop cover, Height
AbstractRainfall characteristics and splash erosion were assessed on a 25% slope having different crop covers by collecting splashed soil particles using splash traps. This was done on 16 plots containing four treatments of maize, beans, intercropped maize and beans and bare fallow (control), each replicated four times. Rainfall records, crop cover and height measurements were also taken during the experimental period. Rainfall amount, energy, El-index (product of rainfall energy and its intensity), and AI-index (product of rainfall amount and its intensity) were found to be highly correlated with splash detachment. However, the most highly correlated erosivity index in the area was the AI-index. Both the total splash and the splash from unit area of exposed soil increased nonlinearly with each of the rainfall erosivity indices. For a given value of rainfall erosivity, total splash decreased with an increase in crop cover, in all treatments. For a given erosivity value, splash per unit of exposed land surface was higher from maize plots than from beans, intercropped maize and beans, and the bare fallow plots, which were not different from each other.