Experimental study of subsurface erosion in granitic under the conditions of different soil column angles and flow discharges

  • Weiping Liu
  • Shaofeng Wan
  • Faming HuangEmail author
  • Xiaoyan Luo
  • Mingfu Fu
Original Paper


Soil erosion leads to soil loss and affects the hydraulic and mechanical properties of soils, and as a result, the soil fertility, eco-environmental quality, and reliability of engineering facilities will decline. Thus, it is very significant to study the mechanisms of subsurface erosion of granitic under different natural environmental conditions. However, limited studies focus on the effects of combined erosion angles and flow discharges on the subsurface erosion amount. This study self-made a subsurface erosion simulator and designed a series of combinational conditions of different soil column angles (0°, 30°, 60°) and different flow discharges (25 l/h, 50 l/h, 100 l/h) to simulate the subsurface erosion phenomenon and processes of moisture migration within granitic collected from a collapsing erosion area in southern China. Results show that the subsurface erosion development in the soil column is a complex and progressive process with obvious preferential flow, which indicates the transportability of soil particles, and the processes of soil subsurface erosion change markedly along with the change of soil column angle and flow discharge. Moreover, the growth rates of wetting front and subsurface erosion amount will speed up along with the increase of soil column angle of flow discharge. The relations between the advance rate of wetting front and time since the beginning of the test demonstrate bilinear. The erosion amount has obvious fluctuation during the process of subsurface erosion in granitic due to fine particles erosion, reposition, pore clogging, and flushing.


Subsurface erosion experiments Granitic Soil column angle Flow discharge 



This research is funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51468041 and No. 41807285), the Science Foundation of Jiangxi Provincial Education Department (Grant: GJJ170666), the Natural Foundation of Jiangxi Province (No.20161BAB203078), and the Science Foundation of Jiangxi Science and Technology Normal University (No. 2017BSQD010).


  1. Aboul Hosn R, Sibille L, Benahmed N, Chareyre B (2018) A discrete numerical model involving partial fluid-solid coupling to describe suffusion effects in soils. Comput Geotech 95:30–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Adel HD, Koenders MA, Bakker KJ (1994) The analysis of relaxed criteria for erosion-control filters. Can Geotech J 31:829–840CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bryan RB (2000) Soil erodibility and processes of water erosion on hillslope. Geomorphology 32:385–415CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Castillo C, Gómez JA (2016) A century of gully erosion research: urgency, complexity and study approaches. Earth Sci Rev 160:300–319CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chen Q, Li L, Chang-Rong HE, Zhu FQ (2009) Criterion of piping types for gap-graded coarse-grained soils. Rock Soil Mech 30:2249–2253Google Scholar
  6. Cividini A, Gioda G (2004) Finite-element approach to the erosion and transport of fine particles in granular soils. Int J Geomech 4:191–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cividini A, Bonomi S, Vignati GC, Gioda G (2009) Seepage-induced erosion in granular soil and consequent settlements. Int J Geomech 9:187–194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dahaghi AK (2011) A novel workflow to model permeability impairment through particle movement and deposition in porous media. Transp Porous Media 86:867–879CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fox GA, Heeren DM, Wilson GV, Langendoen EJ, Fox AK, Chu-Agor ML (2010) Numerically predicting seepage gradient forces and erosion: sensitivity to soil hydraulic properties. J Hydrol 389:354–362CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. García-Ruiz JM, Beguería S, Lana-Renault N, Nadal-Romero E, Cerdà A (2017) Ongoing and emerging questions in water erosion studies. Land Degrad Dev 28:5–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gholami V, Khaleghi MR (2013) The impact of vegetation on the bank erosion (case study: the Haraz River). Soil & Water Res 8:158–164Google Scholar
  12. Hadj-Hamou T, Tavassoli MR, Sherman WC (1990) Laboratory testing of filters and slot sizes for relief wells. J Geotech Eng 9:1325–1346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Huang F, Luo X, Liu W (2017) Stability analysis of hydrodynamic pressure landslides with different permeability coefficients affected by reservoir water level fluctuations and rainstorms. Water 9:450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Huang F, Yao C, Liu W, Li Y, Liu X (2018) Landslide susceptibility assessment in the Nantian area of China: a comparison of frequency ratio model and support vector machine. Geomat Nat Haz Risk 9:919–938CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Indraratna B, Vafai F (1997) Analytical model for particle migration within base soil-filter system. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 123:100–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Iverson RM, Major JJ (1986) Groundwater seepage vectors and the potential for hillslope failure and debris flow mobilization. Water Resour Res 22:1543–1548CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kajdas B, Michalik MJ, Migoń P (2017) Mechanisms of granite alteration into grus, Karkonosze granite, SW Poland. Catena 150:230–245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kawano K, Shire T, O’Sullivan C (2017) Coupled DEM-CFD analysis of the initiation of internal instability in a gap-graded granular embankment filter. Paper presented at the European Physical Journal Web of Conferences, vol 140, p 10005Google Scholar
  19. Ke L, Takahashi A (2012a) Strength reduction of cohesionless soil due to internal erosion induced by one-dimensional upward seepage flow. Soils Found 52:698–711CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ke L, Takahashi A (2012b) Strength reduction of gap-graded cohesionless soil due to internal erosion. Paper presented at the 5th Asia-Pacific Conference on Unsaturated Soils 2012, Pattaya, ThailandGoogle Scholar
  21. Ke L, Takahashi A (2015) Drained monotonic responses of suffusional cohesionless soils. J Geotech Geoenviron 141:04015032CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Koenders MA, Williams AF (1992) Flow equations of particle fluid mixtures. Acta Mech 92:91–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Liu Z, Yue J, Miao T (2004) Capillary-tube model for piping in noncohesive soils and its application. Chin J Rock Mech Eng 23:3871–3876Google Scholar
  24. Manyevere A, Muchaonyerwa P, Mnkeni PNS, Laker MC (2016) Examination of soil and slope factors as erosion controlling variables under varying climatic conditions. Catena 147:245–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Moffat R, Fannin RJ, Garner SJ (2011) Spatial and temporal progression of internal erosion in cohesionless soil. Can Geotech J 48:399–412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ojha CSP, Singh VP, Adrian DD (2003) Determination of critical head in piping. J Hydraul Eng 129:511–518CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Padrones JT, Imai A, Takahashi R (2017) Geochemical behavior of rare earth elements in weathered granitic rocks in northern Palawan, Philippines: REE in weathered granitoids in Palawan resource geology an official journal of the society of. Resour Geol 67:231–253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sato M, Kuwano R (2015) Influence of location of subsurface structures on development of underground cavities induced by internal erosion. Soils Found 55:829–840CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Sato M, Kuwano R (2015b) Suffusion and clogging by one-dimensional seepage tests on cohesive soil. Soils Found 55:1427–1440CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Shahu JT, Hayashi S (2000) Mud pumping problem in tunnels on erosive soil deposits. Geotechnique 50:393–408. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Shen H, Zheng F, Wen L, Lu J, Jiang Y (2015) An experimental study of rill erosion and morphology. Geomorphology 231:193–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sherard JL, Dunnigan PL, Talbot RJ (1984) Filters for silts and clays. J Geotech Eng 110:701–718CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sinoga JDR, Diaz AR, Bueno EF, Murillo JFM (2010) The role of soil surface conditions in regulating runoff and erosion processes on a metamorphic hillslope (southern Spain): soil surface conditions, runoff and erosion in southern Spain. Catena 80:131–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Skempton AW, Brogan JM (1994) Experiments on piping in sandy gravels. Geotechnique 44:449–460. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Soohoo WM, Wang C, Li H (2017) Geospatial assessment of bioenergy land use and its impacts on soil erosion in the U.S. Midwest. J Environ Manag 190:188–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Stavropoulou M, Papanastasiou P, Vardoulakis I (1998) Coupled wellbore erosion and stability analysis. Int J Numer Anal Methods Geomech 22:749–769CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Sterpi D (2003) Effects of the erosion and transport of fFine particles due to seepage flow. Int J Geomech 3:111–122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Tomlinson SS, Vaid YP (2000) Seepage forces and confining pressure effects on piping erosion. Can Geotech J 37:1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Vaughan PR, Soares FH (1982) Design of filters for clay cores of dams. J Geotech Eng Div 108:17–31Google Scholar
  40. Wan CF, Fell R (2008) Assessing the potential of internal instability and suffusion in embankment dams and their foundations. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 134:401–407CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Wang S, Chen JS, Luo YL, Sheng JC (2014) Experiments on internal erosion in sandy gravel foundations containing a suspended cutoff wall under complex stress states. Nat Hazards 74:1163–1178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Wang S, Chen JS, He HQ, He WZ (2016) Experimental study on piping in sandy gravel foundations considering effect of overlying clay. Water Sci Eng 9:165–171Google Scholar
  43. Wu LZ, Zhou Y, Sun P, Shi JS, Liu GG, Bai LY (2017) Laboratory characterization of rainfall-induced loess slope failure. Catena 150:1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Yang K-H, Wang J-Y (2016) Experiment and statistical assessment on piping failures in soils with different gradations. Mar Georesour Geotechnol 35:512–527. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Yerro A, Rohe A, Soga K (2017) Modelling internal erosion with the material point method. Procedia Engineering 175:365–372Google Scholar
  46. Zhang XC, Nearing MA, Garbrecht JD (2017) Gaining insights into interrill erosion processes using rare earth element tracers. Geoderma 299:63–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Zhang F, Li M, Peng M, Chen C, Zhang L (2018) Three-dimensional DEM modeling of the stress–strain behavior for the gap-graded soils subjected to internal erosion. Acta Geotech 1–17Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Weiping Liu
    • 1
  • Shaofeng Wan
    • 1
  • Faming Huang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Xiaoyan Luo
    • 2
  • Mingfu Fu
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Civil Engineering and ArchitectureNanchang UniversityNanchangChina
  2. 2.School of Civil Engineering and ArchitectureJiangxi Science and Technology Normal UniversityNanchangChina
  3. 3.School of Civil Engineering and ArchitectureNanchang Institute of TechnologyNanchangChina

Personalised recommendations