Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 527–538 | Cite as

Effects of rainfall regime and its character indices on soil loss at loessial hillslope with ephemeral gully

  • Yong Han
  • Fen-li Zheng
  • Xi-meng Xu


Understanding the relationship between hillslope soil loss with ephemeral gully and rainfall regime is important for soil loss prediction and erosion control. Based on 12-year field observation data, this paper quantified the rainfall regime impacts on soil loss at loessial hillslope with ephemeral gully. According to three rainfall parameters including precipitation (P), rainfall duration (t), and maximum 30-minute rainfall intensity (I 30), 115 rainfall events were classified by using K-mean clustering method and Discriminant Analysis. The results showed that 115 rainfall events could be divided into three rainfall regimes. Rainfall Regime 1 (RR1) had large I 30 values with low precipitation and short duration, while the three rainfall parameters of Rainfall Regime 3 (RR3) were inversely different compared with those of RR1; for Rainfall Regime 2 (RR2), the precipitation, duration and I 30 values were all between those of RR1 and RR3. Compared with RR2 and RR3, RR1 was the dominant rainfall regime for causing soil loss at the loessial hillslope with ephemeral gully, especially for causing extreme soil loss events. PI 30 (Product of P and I 30) was selected as the key index of rainfall characteristics to fit soil loss equations. Two sets of linear regression equations between soil loss and PI 30 with and without rainfall regime classification were fitted. Compared with the equation without rainfall regime classification, the cross validation results of the equations with rainfall regime classification was satisfactory. These results indicated that rainfall regime classification could not only depict rainfall characteristics precisely, but also improve soil loss equation prediction accuracy at loessial hillslope with ephemeral gully.


Rainfall regime Soil loss Rainfall character indices Loessial hillslope Ephemeral gully 


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This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41271299) and by the Opening Fund of MWR Laboratory of Soil and Water Loss Process and Control in the Loess Plateau of China (Grant NO.2017001).


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on Loess Plateau, Institute of Soil and Water ConservationChinese Academy of SciencesYanglingChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Institute of Soil and Water ConservationNorthwest A&F UniversityYanglingChina

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