Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2002, Vol. 57 ›› Issue (2): 218-223.doi: 10.11821/xb200202012

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The REE Tracer Method for the Study of Rill Erosion Process on Loess Sloping Surface

LI Mian11, LI Zhan-bin1, DING Wen-feng2, LIU Pu-ling1   

  1. 1. Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, CAS and Ministry of Water Resources, Yangling 712100, China;
    2. Department of Urban and Resources Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
  • Received:2001-06-04 Revised:2001-09-26 Online:2002-03-25 Published:2010-09-06
  • Supported by:

    State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on Loess Plateau, No.10501-63; Project of Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. KZCX1-10-04


By the rare earth elements (REE) tracer method, four REE (Ce, Sm, Nd, Dy) were used to study the changeable process of rill erosion on loess sloping surface in runoff scouring experiments. During different stages, the erosion pattern and characteristics are different. Generally, in the process of the rill development, the soil erosion amount in the bottom section was larger, and it decreased with the increase of the flow discharge, but the situation is on the contrary to the top section, which indicated that the influence of flow discharge outweighed the gradient on the rill erosion; the rill relative erosion amount in the bottom section obviously decreased from 92% to 37%, but the other three sections gradually increased from 4.7%, 0.25%, 2.14% to 29 %, 17% and 23% respectively because of the headcut erosion. Results from the experiments have also shown that the REE tracer method can be used not only quantitatively to determine rill erosion amounts in different slope sections, but also to reveal the changeable trend of rill relative erosion amounts. It provides a reliable and effective method for the research on rill erosion process.

Key words: loess sloping surface, rill erosion process, REE tracer method