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Journal of Arid Land  2023, Vol. 15 Issue (2): 180-190    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-023-0005-8
Research article     
Sediment yield and erosion-deposition distribution characteristics in ephemeral gullies in black soil areas under geocell protection
WANG Xinyu1, SU Yu1, SUN Yiqiu1, ZHANG Yan2, GUAN Yinghui2, WANG Zhirong1, WU Hailong1,*()
1School of Environmental Science and Safety Engineering, Tianjin University of Technology, Tianjin 300384, China
2School of Soil and Water Conservation, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100038, China
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Investigating the effect of geocells on the erosion and deposition distribution of ephemeral gullies in the black soil area of Northeast China can provide a scientific basis for the allocation of soil and water conservation measures in ephemeral gullies. In this study, an artificial simulated confluence test and stereoscopic photogrammetry were used to analyze the distribution characteristics of erosion and deposition in ephemeral gullies protected by geocells and the effect of different confluence flows on the erosion process of ephemeral gullies. Results showed that when the confluence flow was larger, the effect of geocell was more evident, and the protection against ephemeral gully erosion was stronger. When the confluence flow rates were 0.6, 1.8, 2.4, and 3.0 m3/h, ephemeral gully erosion decreased by 37.84%, 26.09%, 21.40%, and 35.45%. When the confluence flow rates were 2.4 and 3.0 m3/h, the average sediment yield rate of the ephemeral gully was close to 2.14 kg/(m2?min), and the protective effect of ephemeral gully erosion was enhanced. When the flow rate was higher, the surface fracture of the ephemeral gully was more serious. With an increase in confluence flow rate, the ratio of erosion to deposition increased gradually, the erosion area of ephemeral gullies was expanded, and erosion depth changed minimally. In conclusion, geocell measures changed erosion patterns by altering the rill erosion/deposition ratio, converting erosion from rill erosion to sheet erosion.

Key wordsgeocell      erosion and deposition distribution      runoff and sediment production      ephemeral gully      soil conservation     
Received: 23 July 2022      Published: 28 February 2023
Corresponding Authors: *WU Hailong (E-mail:
Cite this article:

WANG Xinyu, SU Yu, SUN Yiqiu, ZHANG Yan, GUAN Yinghui, WANG Zhirong, WU Hailong. Sediment yield and erosion-deposition distribution characteristics in ephemeral gullies in black soil areas under geocell protection. Journal of Arid Land, 2023, 15(2): 180-190.

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Fig. 1 An illustration of the experimental device. (a), soil flume; (b), pre-rainfall test; (c), flow rate test.
Fig. 2 (a), geocells used in the experiment; (b), geocells exposed from the ground during the experiment.
Flow rate (m3/h) Measure Slope (°) Experiment repetition
Control group
7 2
Table 1 Details of the experimental design
Fig. 3 Experimental soil profile
Fig. 4 Sediment yield in the ephemeral gully protected by geocell under different flow rates. (a), 0.6 m3/h; (b), 1.8 m3/h; (c), 2.4 m3/h; (d), 3.0 m3/h.
Fig. 5 Erosion pattern of ephemeral gully protected by geocell under different flow rates. (a), 0.6 m3/h; (b), 1.8 m3/h; (c), 2.4 m3/h; (d), 3.0 m3/h. DEM, digital elevation model.
Flow rate
Control group Geocell Reduced
Erosion proportion
Deposition proportion
Average sediment yield rate
Erosion proportion
Deposition proportion (%) Average sediment yield rate
0.6 90.59 9.41 2.22 22.27 77.73 1.38 37.84
1.8 73.58 26.42 2.21 44.15 55.85 1.70 23.08
2.4 85.03 14.97 2.71 62.33 37.67 2.13 21.40
3.0 84.56 15.44 3.30 88.75 11.25 2.14 35.45
Table 2 Soil erosion-deposition proportion of ephemeral gully protected by geocell under different flow rates
Fig. 6 Erosion-deposition classification of ephemeral gully protected by geocell under different flow rates
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