Rainfall energy under creosotebush

TitleRainfall energy under creosotebush
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsWainwright J, Parsons AJ, Abrahams AD
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
Date Published1999
Accession NumberJRN00284
Call Number00720
Keywordsarticle, articles, erosion, raindrop, journal, journals, Larrea, rainfall interception, Larrea, rainfall simulation, Larrea, throughfall, rainfall energy, rainfall simulation, Larrea, throughfall, Larrea

Simulated rainstorms of 15 min duration and average intensity 148 mm h-1 were applied to seven creosotebushes. Intensity of the sub-canopy rainfall was reduced to 90% of the rain falling out with the canopy, whereas the kinetic energy was reduced to 70%. Although leafdrip makes up 28.9% of the sub-canopy rainfall, it contributes only 10% of the sub-canopy kinetic energy. Comparison of the effective kinetic energy (that possessed by raindrops with sufficient energy to detach sediment) beneath the canopy with that outside the canopy shows that the former is 55% of the latter. These results quantify the process of differential splash that contributes to the build-up of mounds beneath desert shrubs, and improves the understanding of the development of islands of fertility in desert ecosystems.

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