Influences of sand cover on erosion processes of loess slopes based on rainfall simulation experiments
Aeolian-fluvial interplay erosion regions are subject to intense soil erosion and are of particular concern in loess areas of northwestern China. Understanding the composition, distribution, and transport processes of eroded sediments in these regions is of considerable scientific significance for controlling soil erosion. In this study, based on laboratory rainfall simulation experiments, we analyzed rainfall-induced erosion processes on sand-covered loess slopes (SS) with different sand cover patterns (including length and thickness) and uncovered loess slopes (LS) to investigate the influences of sand cover on erosion processes of loess slopes in case regions of aeolian-fluvial erosion. The grain-size curves of eroded sediments were fitted using the Weibull function. Compositions of eroded sediments under different sand cover patterns and rainfall intensities were analyzed to explore sediment transport modes of SS. The influences of sand cover amount and pattern on erosion processes of loess slopes were also discussed. The results show that sand cover on loess slopes influences the proportion of loess erosion and that the compositions of eroded sediments vary between SS and LS. Sand cover on loess slopes transforms silt erosion into sand erosion by reducing splash erosion and changing the rainfall-induced erosion processes. The percentage of eroded sand from SS in the early stage of runoff and sediment generation is always higher than that in the late stage. Sand cover on loess slopes aggravates loess erosion, not only by adding sand as additional eroded sediments but also by increasing the amount of eroded loess, compared with the loess slopes without sand cover. The influence of sand cover pattern on runoff yield and the amount of eroded sediments is larger than that of sand cover amount. Furthermore, given the same sand cover pattern, a thicker sand cover could increase sand erosion while a thinner sand cover could aggravate loess erosion. This difference explains the existence of intense erosion on slopes that are thinly covered with sand in regions where aeolian erosion and fluvial erosion interact.
ZHANG, Xiang; LI, Zhanbin; and LI, Peng
"Influences of sand cover on erosion processes of loess slopes based on rainfall simulation experiments,"
Journal of Arid Land: Vol. 10
, Article 4.
Available at: https://egijournals.researchcommons.org/journal-of-arid-land/vol10/iss1/4