Articles | Volume 6, issue 3
Research article
31 Jul 2015
Research article |  | 31 Jul 2015

Karst bare slope soil erosion and soil quality: a simulation case study

Q. Dai, Z. Liu, H. Shao, and Z. Yang

Abstract. The influence on soil erosion by different bedrock bareness ratios, different rainfall intensities, different underground pore fissure degrees and rainfall duration are researched through manual simulation of microrelief characteristics of karst bare slopes and underground karst crack construction in combination with artificial simulation of rainfall experiment. The results show that firstly, when the rainfall intensity is small (30 and 50 mm h−1), no bottom load loss is produced on the surface, and surface runoff, underground runoff and sediment production are increased with the increasing of rainfall intensity. Secondly, surface runoff and sediment production reduced with increased underground pore fissure degree, while underground runoff and sediment production increased. Thirdly, raindrops hit the surface, forming a crust with rainfall duration. The formation of crusts increases surface runoff erosion and reduces soil infiltration rate. This formation also increases surface-runoff-erosion-damaged crust and increased soil seepage rate. Raindrops continued to hit the surface, leading the formation of crust. Soil permeability showed volatility which was from reduction to increases, reduction, and so on. Surface and subsurface runoff were volatile with rainfall duration. Fourthly, when rock bareness ratio is 50 % and rainfall intensities are 30 and 50 mm h−1, runoff is not produced on the surface, and the slope runoff and sediment production present a fluctuating change with increased rock bareness ratio. Fifthly, the correlation degree between the slope runoff and sediment production and all factors are as follows: rainfall intensity-rainfall duration-underground pore fissure degree–bedrock bareness ratio.