Sand detachment by single raindrops of varying kinetic energy and momentum

P. P. Sharma, S. C. Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Soil detachment by raindrops is a precursor to the start of interrill erosion and surface seal formation. Soil detachment occurs when erosive forces of raindrops are greater than the inherent strength of soil. Experiments were conducted to study the importance of inherent soil strength on detachment of soil by raindrops. Sand strength was controlled by varying matric potentials before raindrop impact. A range of raindrop kinetic energies and momentum was created by changing drop diameter (3.6-5.0 mm) and fall height (1-8 m). Sand splash was represented by a model of the form D = Kd[E - Eo]b, where D is detachment, E is raindrop erosivity, Eo is threshold erosivity, Kd is sand detachability, and b is an exponent equal to 1. This equation of describing soil detachment as a function of erosivity is an improvement over the current used nonlinear relationship of the form D = Kd Eb. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1005-1010
Number of pages6
JournalSoil Science Society of America Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1989


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