Pedosphere 20(1): 129--136, 2010
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2010 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Wetting rate and clay content effects on interrill erosion in Ultisols of southeastern China
YAN Feng-Ling, SHI Zhi-Hua, CAI Chong-Fa and LI Zhao-Xia
Key Laboratory of Subtropical Agriculture & Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070 (China)
ABSTRACT
      An aggregate stability test and a simulated rainfall test were conducted on four representative Ultisols from southeastern China. The soils selected, with clay contents ranging between 117 and 580 g kg-1, were derived from shale and Quaternary red clay. The stability of aggregates (2-5 mm in diameter) obtained from the soil samples were determined by the Le Bissonnais method. For determination of infiltration, runoff, and erosion, the soil samples were packed in 30 cm × 60 cm trays, wetted at rates of 2, 10, and 60 mm h-1, and then exposed to simulated rainfall at 60 mm h-1 for 1 h. The results indicated that both aggregate stability and slaking caused by fast wetting increased with increasing clay content. The effect of wetting rate (WR) on infiltration and seal formation varied with clay contents. In the soil with low clay content (sandy loam), the infiltration rate was affected slightly by WR due to low aggregate stability and slaking. In the soils with medium clay content (silt clay loam and clay), WR affected infiltration significantly due to the high aggregate slaking force. In the soil with high clay content, the effect of WR on infiltration was significant, but not as evident as in the soils with medium clay content, which may be related to high aggregate stability by wetting partially compensating for slaking force. The effect of WR on soil loss was similar to that of runoff, but more pronounced. The findings from this study indicated that the relationship between wetting rate and clay content should be considered when predicting interrill erosion in Ultisols.
Key Words:  aggregate stability, infiltration, seal formation
Citation: Yan, F. L., Shi, Z. H., Cai, C. F. and Li, Z. X. 2010. Wetting rate and clay content effects on interrill erosion in Ultisols of southeastern China. Pedosphere. 20(1): 129-136.
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