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Water 2015, 7(6), 2990-3008; doi:10.3390/w7062990

Effects of Rainfall Intensity and Slope Gradient on Runoff and Soil Moisture Content on Different Growing Stages of Spring Maize

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
College of Hydrology and Water Resources, Hohai University, No.1 Xikang Road, Nanjing 210098, Jiangsu, China
3
State Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Science, Wuhan University, No.8 Donghu South Road, Wuhan 430072, Hubei, China
4
State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, Jiangsu, China
5
Institute of Wetland Research, Chinese Academy of Forestry, No.1 Dongxiaofu Road, Beijing 100091, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Miklas Scholz
Received: 27 April 2015 / Revised: 1 June 2015 / Accepted: 5 June 2015 / Published: 17 June 2015
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Abstract

The rainfall-runoff process (RRP) is an important part of hydrologic process. There is an effective measure to study RRP through artificial rainfall simulation. This paper describes a study on three growing stages (jointing stage, tasseling stage, and mature stage) of spring maize in which simulated rainfall events were used to study the effects of various factors (rainfall intensity and slope gradient) on the RRP. The RRP was tested with three different rainfall intensities (0.67, 1.00, and 1.67 mm/min) and subjected to three different slopes (5°, 15°, and 20°) so as to study RRP characteristics in semiarid regions. Regression analysis was used to study the results of this test. The following key results were obtained: (1) With the increase in rainfall intensity and slope, the increasing relationship with rainfall duration, overland flow, and cumulative runoff, respectively, complied with logarithmic and quadratic functions before reaching stable runoff in each growing stage of spring maize; (2) The runoff coefficient increased with the increase in rainfall intensity and slope in each growing stages of spring maize. The relationship between runoff coefficient, slope, rainfall intensity, rainfall duration, antecedent soil moisture, and vegetation coverage was multivariate and nonlinear; (3) The runoff lag time decreased with the increase in rainfall intensity and slope within the same growing stage. In addition, the relationship between runoff lag time, slope, rainfall intensity, antecedent soil moisture, and vegetation coverage could also be expressed by a multivariate nonlinear equation; (4) The descent rate of soil infiltration rate curve increased with the increased rainfall intensity and slope in the same growing stage. Furthermore, by comparing the Kostiakov, Horton, and Philip models, it was found that the Horton infiltration model was the best for estimating soil infiltration rate and cumulative infiltration under the condition of test. View Full-Text
Keywords: RRP; rainfall intensity; slope angle; runoff amount; runoff coefficient; lag time; soil infiltration rate RRP; rainfall intensity; slope angle; runoff amount; runoff coefficient; lag time; soil infiltration rate
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Mu, W.; Yu, F.; Li, C.; Xie, Y.; Tian, J.; Liu, J.; Zhao, N. Effects of Rainfall Intensity and Slope Gradient on Runoff and Soil Moisture Content on Different Growing Stages of Spring Maize. Water 2015, 7, 2990-3008.

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