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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Concentrated Flow Erosion
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Rills, ephemeral gullies, gullies, channels, streams and rivers are examples on the landscape of areas where concentrated flow erosion occurs.  Concentrated flow erosion is also a culprit in embankment breaching and auxiliary spillway failure on earthen dams.  In some areas of the United States, gully and stream bank erosion account for 40 percent or more of the erosion.  Repair from, and prevention of concentrated flow erosion has an annual cost in the United States of over one billion dollars.  Therefore, prediction and control of erosion of soil material by concentrated flowing water is important for safety, economic, and environmental management reasons.

This laboratory has conducted research in the area of concentrated flow erosion and prevention.  Open channel flow tests have been conducted to characterize the erodibility of soils.  Research has also been conducted on the effects of soil properties on erosion resistance (i.e. soil density, moisture content, compaction, consolidation, stress-strain properties, moisture tension, and grain size).

The laboratory has also developed a submerged jet apparatus and analytical procedures to aid in determining the erosion resistance of soil materials.  The apparatus and procedure provide a simple, relatively quick, and inexpensive approach to measuring erosion resistance.  The test can be conducted in the field or in the laboratory.  The results can be easily used in present erosion equations.

For additional information contact our office.


Last Modified: 8/7/2013