Measurement and computation of kinetic energy of simulated rainfall in comparison with natural rainfallů J., Kalibová J. (2018): Measurement and computation of kinetic energy of simulated rainfall in comparison with natural rainfall. Soil & Water Res., 13: 226-233.
download PDF

Rainfall characteristics such as total amount and rainfall intensity (I) are important inputs in calculating the kinetic energy (KE) of rainfall. Although KE is a crucial indicator of the raindrop potential to disrupt soil aggregates, it is not a routinely measured meteorological parameter. Therefore, KE is derived from easily accessible variables, such as I, in empirical laws. The present study examines whether the equations which had been derived to calculate KE of natural rainfall are suitable for the calculation of KE of simulated rainfall. During the experiment presented in this paper, the measurement of rainfall characteristics was carried out under laboratory conditions using a rainfall simulator. In total, 90 measurements were performed and evaluated to describe the rainfall intensity, drop size distribution and velocity of rain drops using the Thies laser disdrometer. The duration of each measurement of rainfall event was 5 minutes. Drop size and fall velocity were used to calculate KE and to derive a new equation of time-specific kinetic energy (KEtimeI). When comparing the newly derived equation for KE of simulated rainfall with the six most commonly used equations for KEtimeI of natural rainfall, KE of simulated rainfall was discovered to be underestimated. The higher the rainfall intensity, the higher the rate of underestimation. KE of natural rainfall derived from theoretical equations exceeded KE of simulated rainfall by 53–83% for I = 30 mm/h and by 119–275% for I = 60 mm/h. The underestimation of KE of simulated rainfall is probably caused by smaller drops formed by the rainfall simulator at higher intensities (94% of all drops were smaller than 1 mm), which is not typical of natural rainfall.

Angulo-Martínez M., Barros A.P. (2015): Measurement uncertainty in rainfall kinetic energy and intensity relationships for soil erosion studies: An evaluation using PARSIVEL disdrometers in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Geomorphology, 228, 28-40
Assouline S, El Idrissi A, Persoons E (1997): Modelling the physical characteristics of simulated rainfall: a comparison with natural rainfall. Journal of Hydrology, 196, 336-347
Blum W. E. H., Warkentin B. P., Frossard E. (2006): Soil, human society and the environment. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 266, 1-8
Bubenzer G.D. (1979): Rainfall characteristics important for simulation. In: Proc. Rainfall Simulator Workshop, Tuscon, March 7–9, 1979, U.S. Department of Agriculture Science and Education Administration Agricultural Reviews and Manuals, ARM –W-10/July1979.
Cerdà A., Ibáñez S., Calvo A. (1997): Design and operation of a small and portable rainfall simulator for rugged terrain. Soil Technology, 11, 163-170
Clarke Michelle A., Walsh Rory P. D. (2007): A portable rainfall simulator for field assessment of splash and slopewash in remote locations. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 32, 2052-2069
Dunkerley David (2008): Rain event properties in nature and in rainfall simulation experiments: a comparative review with recommendations for increasingly systematic study and reporting. Hydrological Processes, 22, 4415-4435
Esteves Michel, Planchon Olivier, Lapetite Jean Marc, Silvera Norbert, Cadet Patrice (2000): The ?EMIRE? large rainfall simulator: design and field testing. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 25, 681-690<681::AID-ESP124>3.0.CO;2-8
Fernández-Raga María, Fraile Roberto, Keizer Jan Jacob, Varela Teijeiro María Eufemia, Castro Amaya, Palencia Covadonga, Calvo Ana I., Koenders Joost, Da Costa Marques Renata Liliana (2010): The kinetic energy of rain measured with an optical disdrometer: An application to splash erosion. Atmospheric Research, 96, 225-240
Fister W., Iserloh T., Ries J.B., Schmidt R.-G. (2012): A portable wind and rainfall simulator for in situ soil erosion measurements. CATENA, 91, 72-84
Fornis Ricardo L., Vermeulen Hans R., Nieuwenhuis Jan D. (2005): Kinetic energy–rainfall intensity relationship for Central Cebu, Philippines for soil erosion studies. Journal of Hydrology, 300, 20-32
Frasson Renato Prata de Moraes, da Cunha Luciana Kindl, Krajewski Witold F. (2011): Assessment of the Thies optical disdrometer performance. Atmospheric Research, 101, 237-255
Hudson N.W. (1965): The influence of rainfall mechanics on soil erosion. [Ph.D. Thesis.] Cape Town, University of Cape Town.
Humphrey J.B., Daniel T.C., Edwards D.R., Sharpley A.N. (2002): A portable rainfall simulator for plot-scale runoff studies. Applied Engineering in Agriculture, 18: 199–204.
Iserloh T., Fister W., Seeger M., Willger H., Ries J.B. (2012): A small portable rainfall simulator for reproducible experiments on soil erosion. Soil & Tillage Research, 124: 131–137.
Iserloh T., Ries J.B., Arnáez J., Boix-Fayos C., Butzen V., Cerdà A., Echeverría M.T., Fernández-Gálvez J., Fister W., Geißler C., Gómez J.A., Gómez-Macpherson H., Kuhn N.J., Lázaro R., León F.J., Martínez-Mena M., Martínez-Murillo J.F., Marzen M., Mingorance M.D., Ortigosa L., Peters P., Regüés D., Ruiz-Sinoga J.D., Scholten T., Seeger M., Solé-Benet A., Wengel R., Wirtz S. (2013): European small portable rainfall simulators: A comparison of rainfall characteristics. CATENA, 110, 100-112
Jayawardena A. W., Rezaur R. B. (2000): Drop size distribution and kinetic energy load of rainstorms in Hong Kong. Hydrological Processes, 14, 1069-1082<1069::AID-HYP997>3.0.CO;2-Q
McIsaac G.F. (1990): Apparent geographic and atmospheric influences on raindrop sizes and rainfall kinetic energy. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, 45: 663–666.
Meyer L., McCune D.L. (1958): Rainfall simulator for runoff plots. Agricultural Engineering, 39: 644–648.
Petan Sašo, Rusjan Simon, Vidmar Andrej, Mikoš Matjaž (2010): The rainfall kinetic energy–intensity relationship for rainfall erosivity estimation in the mediterranean part of Slovenia. Journal of Hydrology, 391, 314-321
Ries J.B., Seeger M., Iserloh T., Wistorf S., Fister W. (2009): Calibration of simulated rainfall characteristics for the study of soil erosion on agricultural land. Soil & Tillage Research, 106: 109–116.
Rosewell Colin John (1986): Rainfall Kinetic Energy in Eastern Australia. Journal of Climate and Applied Meteorology, 25, 1695-1701<1695:RKEIEA>2.0.CO;2
Salles Christian, Poesen Jean, Sempere-Torres Daniel (2002): Kinetic energy of rain and its functional relationship with intensity. Journal of Hydrology, 257, 256-270
Sanchez-Moreno Juan Francisco, Mannaerts Chris M., Jetten Victor, Löffler-Mang Martin (2012): Rainfall kinetic energy–intensity and rainfall momentum–intensity relationships for Cape Verde. Journal of Hydrology, 454-455, 131-140
C. H. Shelton , R. D. von Bernuth , S. P. Rajbhandari (1985): A Continuous-Application Rainfall Simulator. Transactions of the ASAE, 28, 1115-1119
Steiner Matthias, Smith James A. (2000): Reflectivity, Rain Rate, and Kinetic Energy Flux Relationships Based on Raindrop Spectra. Journal of Applied Meteorology, 39, 1923-1940<1923:RRRAKE>2.0.CO;2
Thies (2004): Instruction for use 021341/07/11 Laser Precipitation Monitor 5.4110.xx.x00 V2.5x STD. Göttingen, Adolf Thies GmbH & Co KG.
Thomas N.P., El Swaify Samir A. (1989): Construction and calibration of a rainfall simulator. Journal of Agricultural Engineering Research, 43, 1-9
van Dijk A.I.J.M, Bruijnzeel L.A, Rosewell C.J (2002): Rainfall intensity–kinetic energy relationships: a critical literature appraisal. Journal of Hydrology, 261, 1-23
Wischmeier W.H., Smith D.D. (1978): Predicting Rainfall Erosion Losses − a Guide to Conservation Planning. USDA Agricultural Research Service Handbook No. 537, Hyattsville, USDA.
Zanchi C., Torri D. (1980): Evalution of rainfall energy in central Italy. In: De Boodt M., Gabriels D. (eds.): Assessment of Erosion. Toronto, Wiley: 133–142.
download PDF

© 2018 Czech Academy of Agricultural Sciences