Effects of Grass on Runoff and Gully Bed Erosion: Concentrated Flow Experiment

  • Pravat Kumar Shit
  • Hamid Reza Pourghasemi
  • Gouri Sankar Bhunia
Part of the Advances in Science, Technology & Innovation book series (ASTI)


Soil detachment by overland flow has mainly been studied using small samples with smooth surfaces. However, the inner mechanism for this process remains unclear. In the present chapter, an experimental study was conducted to evaluate the role of vegetation buffer strips on concentrated flow hydraulics and gully bed erosion downstream on gully headcuts. Six gully beds were selected for simulation runoff experiments, with an average vegetation cover of buffer strips of approximately 67%. The flow scouring tests on each gully bed lasted 60 min with a flow discharge of 78.5 l min−1. Hydraulic parameters were calculated, including Reynolds number (Re), Froude number (Fr), hydraulic share tress (τ), Manning roughness coefficient (N), and Darcy-Weisbach friction factor (f). Runoff samples were collected at the bottom part of each gully bed using a 0.5-l plastic bottle during the simulated runoff at 5-min intervals. The average parameter values for the vegetated buffer strips varied between 35% and 50%, which is lower than those for bare gully beds with a minimum value (74.53%) of τ. The vegetated buffer strips in gully beds indicate that total gross deposit of sediment after experiments ranged between 0.02 and 0.1 m3 with an average of 0.037 m3, which was 1.6 times higher than that of bare soil gully beds. The net erosion volume shows a negative relationship with time for all the experimental gully beds. Moreover, the area covered with dense vegetation cover had reduced surface runoff, sediment trapped with stems, and reinforcement of soil erosion and stabilization of the gully. Hence, encouraging vegetation in gully beds has been confirmed as an active measure in monitoring the expansion of gullies.


Vegetation belts In situ scouring experiment Hydraulic properties Gully bed Runoff Land management 



We are grateful to the Department of Geography, Raja N.L. Khan Women’s College (Autonomous), affiliated to Vidyasagar University, Midnapore, West Bengal, India for supporting this research. The author (P.K. Shit) gratefully acknowledges University Grant Commission (UGC-ERO, Kolkata), Govt. of India for financial support through Minor Research Project [No. F.PHW-171/15-16 (ERO)]. Many people helped with the originally field data collection, including Sumanta Dinda, Sumana Jana, and Bhanishikha Bhattacharya.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pravat Kumar Shit
    • 1
  • Hamid Reza Pourghasemi
    • 2
  • Gouri Sankar Bhunia
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of GeographyRaja N. L. Khan Women’s College (Autonomous)MedinipurIndia
  2. 2.Department of Natural Resources and Environmental EngineeringCollege of Agriculture, Shiraz UniversityShirazIran
  3. 3.Aarvee Associates Architects, Engineers & Consultants Pvt. LtdHyderabadIndia

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