KWRRI Research Reports


A model of soil erosion, known as KYERMO, is presented which emphasizes those processes which are important on steep slopes. Particular emphasis is placed on modeling rill development and geometry since this is the least understood process in erosion mechanics. The model requires an input rill pattern.

Rainfall inputs to the model require the use of breakpoint rainfall and kinetic energy. Surface storage is calculated based on random roughness data of Linden (1979). Infiltration is modeled by use of the two layer Green-Ampt-Mein-Larson model as proposed by Moore and Eigel (1981). Runoff is related to rainfall excess and surface storage by the exponential, relationship of Thelin and Keifer (1960).

Erosion is modeled separately as rill and interrill erosion. Interrill erosion is modeled by evaluating raindrop splash and interrill transport capacity. Raindrop splash is predicted by using the Bubenzer and Jones (1971) equation which requires kinetic energy, rainfall intensity, and percent clay. In terr ill transport capacity is modeled by either the Yalin (1963) or Yang (1973) equation depending on user preference. The rate of delivery of soil to a rill is a minimum of either the transport rate or splash rate.

Rill detachment capacity is calculated using the shear excess equation of Foster (1982). Transport capacity is calculated from either the Yalin (1963) or Yang ( 1973) depending on user preference. The distribution of detachment around the rill boundary is calculated as a function of the shear distribution. Shear is distributed by using a modification of the area method of Lundgren and Jonsson (1964). Rill wall sloughing is calculated by using the procedure of Wu et al. (1982) which uses a critical wall angle. Flow routing in rills is calculated by using the kinematic routing procedures of Brakensiek (1966).

Data is presented showing that predictions made with model components are reasonable. A limited sensitivity analysis with the model shows that predictions follow the trends that one would expect.

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The work upon which this report is based was supported in part by funds provided by the United States Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C., as authorized by the Water Research and Development Act of 1978. Public Law 95-467.