Response of the Meltwater Erosion to Runoff Energy Consumption on Loessal Slopes
Soil properties are influenced by freeze-thaw, which in turn influences soil erosion. Despite this, only a few studies have investigated the impacts on soil hydrodynamic processes. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of soil freezing conditions on runoff, its energy consumption, and soil erosion. A total of 27 laboratory-concentrated meltwater flow experiments were performed to investigate the soil erosion rate, the runoff energy consumption, and the relationship between the
... onship between the soil erosion rate and runoff energy consumption by concentrated flow under combinations of three flow rates (1, 2, and 4 L/min) and three soil conditions (unfrozen, shallow-thawed, and frozen). The individual and combined effects of soil condition, flow rate, and runoff energy consumption on the soil erosion rate were analyzed. For the same flow rate, the shallow-thawed and frozen slope produced mean values of 3.08 and 4.53 times the average soil erosion rates compared to the unfrozen slope, respectively. The number of rills in the unfrozen soil slope were 4, 3, and 2 under the flow rate of 1, 2, and 4 L/min, respectively. The number of rills in the thawed-shallow and frozen soil slope were all 1 under the flow rate of 1, 2, and 4 L/min. The rill displayed disconnected distribution patterns on the unfrozen slope, but a connected rill occurred on the shallow-thawed and frozen slopes. The average rill width on unfrozen, thawed-shallow, and frozen soil slopes increased by 1.87 cm, 4.38 cm, and 1.68 cm as the flow rate increased from 1 L/min to 4 L/min. There was no significant difference in the rill length on the frozen slope under different flow rates (p > 0.05). The runoff energy consumption ranged from unfrozen > shallow-thawed > frozen slopes at the same flow rate. The soil erosion rate had a linear relationship with runoff energy consumption. The spatial distribution of the runoff energy implied that soil erosion was mainly sourced from the unfrozen down slope, shallow-thawed upper slope, and frozen full slope.