The relationship between potentially erosive storm energy and daily rainfall total.

Davison, P.; Hutchins, M.; Anthony, S.; Betson, M.; Johnson, C.; Lord, E.. 2005 The relationship between potentially erosive storm energy and daily rainfall total. Science of the Total Environment, 344 (1-3). 15-25.

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Erosive storm energy is the primary driver of soil detachment, and hence a major determinant of transfer of sediment and particulate phosphorus (P) to surface waters. Modelling of sediment and P loss at catchment scale, for example for the development of catchment and national mitigation policies, requires a spatially interpolated estimate of variation in erosion risk. To this end we present a method of estimating total rainfall erosivity, as kinetic energy (KE), for any location in England and Wales, from daily rainfall data or monthly climate data. Analysis of detailed, high-resolution records from eleven contrasting sites showed strong predictive correlations between daily rainfall quantity and associated daily total kinetic energy estimated from hourly rainfall intensities. The coefficients showed systematic seasonal variation, with greatest KE per unit of rainfall in late summer and autumn months. In contrast, no systematic spatial variation was found as a function of location or continentality index. The relationships were integrated with probability distributions of rainfall quantity per rain day derived from spatial climate data (monthly rainfall totals and numbers of rain days). The resulting map captures and quantifies the effects of rainfall quantity and intensity patterns on risk of sediment detachment, and as such provides a critical input layer to catchment-scale models of sediment and P transfer.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Water > WA03 Developing strategic data and knowledge at a catchment scale to enable the wiser management of the water environment
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: _ Water Quality
ISSN: 0048-9697
Additional Keywords: Soil erosion, Rainfall erosivity, Phosphorus, Sediment detachment
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 01 Sep 2009 15:20 +0 (UTC)

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