An improved experimental method for simulating erosion processes by concentrated channel flow.
Rill erosion is an important process that occurs on hill slopes, including sloped farmland. Laboratory simulations have been vital to understanding rill erosion. Previous experiments obtained sediment yields using rills of various lengths to get the sedimentation process, which disrupted the continuity of the rill erosion process and was time-consuming. In this study, an improved experimental method was used to measure the rill erosion processes by concentrated channel flow. By using this method, a laboratory platform, 12 m long and 3 m wide, was used to construct rills of 0.1 m wide and 12 m long for experiments under five slope gradients (5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 degrees) and three flow rates (2, 4, and 8 L min(-1)). Sediment laden water was simultaneously sampled along the rill at locations 0.5 m, 1 m, 2 m, 3 m, 4 m, 5 m, 6 m, 7 m, 8 m, 10 m, and 12 m from the water inlet to determine the sediment concentration distribution. The rill erosion process measured by the method used in this study and that by previous experimental methods are approximately the same. The experimental data indicated that sediment concentrations increase with slope gradient and flow rate, which highlights the hydraulic impact on rill erosion. Sediment concentration increased rapidly at the initial section of the rill, and the rate of increase in sediment concentration reduced with the rill length. Overall, both experimental methods are feasible and applicable. However, the method proposed in this study is more efficient and easier to operate. This improved method will be useful in related research.