Water Infiltration In Water

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2.3.5 Runoff Runoff is best defined as movement of land water to the oceans, chiefly in a form of rivers, lakes and streams. According to Solomon (2005), ‘the term runoff can be applied to stream or river discharge. It can also be employed in reference to the gravitational movement of a fraction of rainfall over the surface flow from an area peripherally bound by a water divide, towards a water body”. Runoff in a catchment is generated by the portion of rainfall that remains after satisfying both surface and subsurface losses. Once these demands have been met, the remaining rainwater follows a number of flow paths to enter a stream channel. The flow of runoff entirely depends on several factors including, rainfall, land use/land cover, soil…show more content…
Infiltration is defined as the rate at which water enters the soil during or after rain fall (Schwab et., 1981; White, 1997). The property of soil plays a key role in controlling the amount of water that will be freely available for surface runoff after a rainfall event (Morgan, 1995). There are several processes acting together in the likes of gravitational forces which pull the water downwards, attractive forces between water molecule and soil and the nature of soil particles (Dunne & Leopold, 1978). There are many environmental factors that govern the rate of water infiltration in soil. These factors include; the rate of rainfall, soil properties which include texture, soil porosity, soil depth and moisture & organic matter content, slope (topography), vegetation cover and type of land use/land cover (Dunne & Leopold,…show more content…
The amounts of total water that are available for overland flow are results of the influences of these stages. On the other hand it means that, these different stages result in different loses from the total rain. Man has certain influences over certain aspects of these stages through catchment management practices. An increase in the rate of runoff subsequently, increases the amount of soil that is eroded and causing land degradation (Morgan 1995). In most geographical landscape, the vegetation that found on the surface of land serves as a protective layer over soil surface and also increases its infiltration rate (capacity). Hence removal of any vegetation type due to changes in land use can expose the barren soil. When any rain fall is experienced in particular area, the exposed soil particles are freely washed away. The free flowing water can also cause fine particles to clog pore spaces and resulted in formation of a thin compact layer on the soil surface known as surface crusting which prevents water from passing into the soil (Hillel, 1980). The ultimate increase of surface runoff can be done as a result of formation of surface

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