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Water 2014, 6(9), 2671-2689; doi:10.3390/w6092671

Investigation of Rainfall-Runoff Processes and Soil Moisture Dynamics in Grassland Plots under Simulated Rainfall Conditions

1
State Key Laboratory of Simulation and Regulation of Water Cycle in River Basin, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, No.1 Fuxing Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100038, China
2
Institute of Wetland Research, Chinese Academy of Forestry, No.1 Dongxiaofu Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100091, China
3
State Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Science, Wuhan University, No.8 Donghu South Road, Wuhan 430072, Hubei, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 April 2014 / Revised: 25 August 2014 / Accepted: 28 August 2014 / Published: 5 September 2014
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Abstract

The characteristics of rainfall-runoff are important aspects of hydrological processes. In this study, rainfall-runoff processes and soil moisture dynamics at different soil depths and slope positions of grassland with two different row spacings (5 cm and 10 cm, respectively, referred to as R5 and R10) were analyzed, by means of a solution of rainfall simulation experiments. Bare land was also considered as a comparison. The results showed that the mechanism of runoff generation was mainly excess infiltration overland flow. The surface runoff amount of R5 plot was greater than that of R10, while the interflow amount of R10 was larger than that of R5 plot, although the differences of the subsurface runoff processes between plots R5 and R10 were little. The effects of rainfall intensity on the surface runoff were significant, but not obvious on the interflow and recession curve, which can be described as a simple exponential equation, with a fitting degree of up to 0.854–0.996. The response of soil moisture to rainfall and evapotranspiration was mainly in the 0–20 cm layer, and the response at the 40 cm layer to rainfall was slower and generally occurred after the rainfall stopped. The upper slope generally responded fastest to rainfall, and the foot of the slope was the slowest. The results presented here could provide insights into understanding the surface and subsurface runoff processes and soil moisture dynamics for grasslands in semi-arid regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: rainfall-runoff; soil moisture; interflow; soil cover; runoff coefficient; slope position rainfall-runoff; soil moisture; interflow; soil cover; runoff coefficient; slope position
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhao, N.; Yu, F.; Li, C.; Wang, H.; Liu, J.; Mu, W. Investigation of Rainfall-Runoff Processes and Soil Moisture Dynamics in Grassland Plots under Simulated Rainfall Conditions. Water 2014, 6, 2671-2689.

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