In this paper, the morphology of step–pool features is analysed using rill measurements and literature data for streams. Close-range photogrammetry was used to carry out ground measurements on rills with step–pool units, shaped on a plot having slope equal to 14, 15, 22, 24 and 26%. Data were used to compare the relationships between H/L, in which H is the step height and L is the step length, and the mean gradient of the step–pool sequence, Sm, for streams or the slope of the step–pool unit, S, for rills. The relationship of H/L against Sm is widely used to test the occurrence of the maximum flow resistance condition in streams, which is associated with the range 1 ≤ (H/L)/Sm ≤ 2. Further analyses were carried out to compare both the formation process and the profile of the pool in rills with those related to streams. Moreover, for a single rill channel, an analysis of flow characteristics expressed in terms of Darcy–Weisbach friction factor and Froude number was developed. The results allowed us to state: (i) the relationships of H/L versus Sm and S are quite similar and the steepness ratio for streams, (H/L)/Sm, and for rills, (H/L)/S, generally ranges from 1 to 2; (ii) the formation process and the profile of the pool in rills are not consistent with those occurring in streams; (iii) in the rills, the longitudinal size of the pool is dominant with respect to the maximum scour depth; (iv) the presence of a sequence of step–pool units within a rill segment noticeably increases flow resistance compared to segments with a flat bed; (v) the Froude number of the flow over the sequence of step–pool units in rills is slightly below the range of 0.8–1 corresponding to the maximum flow resistance in step–pool units.
|Number of pages||16|
|Journal||Earth Surface Processes and Landforms|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Earth-Surface Processes
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)