Inherent interreplicate variability during small-scale rainfall simulations

Hu, Yaxian and Fister, Wolfgang and Kuhn, Nikolaus J.. (2016) Inherent interreplicate variability during small-scale rainfall simulations. Journal of Soils and Sediments, 16 (6). pp. 1809-1814.

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The validity of soil erosion data is often questioned because of the variation between replicates. This paper aims to evaluate the relevance of interreplicate variability to soil and soil organic carbon (SOC) erosion over prolonged rainfall.
Materials and methods
Two silty loams were subjected to simulated rainfall of 30 mm h−1 for 360 min. The entire rainfall event was repeated ten times to enable statistical analysis of the variability of the runoff and soil erosion rates.
Results and discussion
The results show that, as selective removal of depositional particles and crust formation progressively stabilized the soil surface, the interreplicate variability of runoff and soil erosion rates declined considerably over rainfall time. Yet, even after the maximum runoff and erosion rates were reached, the interreplicate variability still remained between 15 and 39 %, indicating the existence of significant inherent variability in soil erosion experiments.
Great caution must be paid when applying soil and SOC erosion data after averaging from a small number of replicates. While not readily applicable to other soil types or rainfall conditions, the great interreplicate variability observed in this study suggests that a large number of replicates is highly recommended to ensure the validity of average values, especially when extrapolating them to assess soil and SOC erosion risk in the field.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Geowissenschaften > Physiogeographie und Umweltwandel (Kuhn)
UniBasel Contributors:Hu, Yaxian and Fister, Wolfgang and Kuhn, Nikolaus J.
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:30 Nov 2017 14:37
Deposited On:02 Nov 2017 09:05

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