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Open AccessArticle

Comparative Analysis of Splash Erosion Devices for Rainfall Simulation Experiments: A Laboratory Study

Department of Applied Physics, University of Leon, 24071 León, Spain
Department of Environmental Quality and Soil, Desertification Research Centre-CIDE (CSIC, UV. GV), 46113 Valencia, Spain
Instituto de Geomorfología y Suelos, Department of Geography, University of Málaga, 29071 Málaga, Spain
Wageningen Environmental Research, Team Soil, Water and Land Use, P.O. Box 47, 6700AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
Civil, Surveying and Environmental Engineering, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(6), 1228;
Received: 24 May 2019 / Revised: 6 June 2019 / Accepted: 10 June 2019 / Published: 12 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effect of Hydrology on Soil Erosion)
For the study of soil erosion it is important to set up the experiments well. In the experimental design one of the key factors is the choice of the measurement device. This is especially important when one part of the erosion process needs to be isolated, such as for splash erosion. Therefore, the main aim of this research is to list the general characteristics of the commonly used splash erosion devices and to discuss the performance, to be able to relate them, and make suggestions regarding their use. The devices we selected for this comparative comparison were: the splash cup, funnel, Morgan tray, Tübingen cup, tower, and the gutter. The devices were tested under the same conditions (rainfall characteristics, slope, and soil type) to assess their hydrological response under different intensities of simulated rainfall. All devices were installed on a sloping plot (10°) with sandy soil, and were exposed to 10 min. of simulated rain with intensities ranging from 60 to 172 mm/h to measure the splashed sediment, and to describe problems and differences among them. The results showed that the Tübingen cup was the best performing device to measure kinetic energy of the rain, but, because of its design, it is not possible to measure the detached splashed sediment under natural (field) conditions. On the other hand, the funnel device showed a significant relation with rain intensity because it loses little sediment to washing. In addition, the device is easy to use and cheap. Therefore, this device is highly recommended to estimated splash erosion. to the good performance measuring the actual splash erosion, because it loses little sediment by washing. The device is also cheap and easy to install and manage. View Full-Text
Keywords: splash erosion; environmental assessment; soil erosion; rainfall simulation splash erosion; environmental assessment; soil erosion; rainfall simulation
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Fernández-Raga, M.; Campo, J.; Rodrigo-Comino, J.; Keesstra, S.D. Comparative Analysis of Splash Erosion Devices for Rainfall Simulation Experiments: A Laboratory Study. Water 2019, 11, 1228.

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