The influence of grass cover on runoff and soil erosion from soil in the Machakos area, Kenya


  • T.R. Moore Department of Geography, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
  • D.B. Thomas University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
  • R.C. Barber University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya


Runoff and soil to were measured from three sites with similar soil but different grass covers using a simulated rainstorm of 69 mm/h for 1 h on small (1·5 m2) plots. Runoff and soil losses were very high from a bare, eroding subsoil but low on a recently ploughed and grassed site. A heavily grazed but well grassed site produced very high runoff, but lost little soil. It is suggested that grass basal covers of 15 to 20 per cent or more can reduce soil losses from the very erodible soils to acceptable levels.



Research Papers