Overland flow generation and continuity on stone‐covered soil surfaces

H. Lavee, J. W.A. Poesen

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81 Scopus citations


The influence of stone cover on the generation and continuity of overland flow is a function of several variables, primarily stone size, distance (spacing) between stones, and stone position (on top of the soil surface or partially embedded). The initial hypothesis of the present study were that stone size affects overland flow generation by inducing ‘concentration overland flow’ and that the distance between stones affects overland flow continuity. With respect to stone size and distance between stones, opposing results have been found in the literature. Accordingly, the present paper reports on laboratory experiments which were conducted to investigate, systematically, the effect on overland flow of stone size, distance between stones, and stone position. The main conclusions were: Stone cover tended to induce overland flow, relative to bare soil. Small stones, however, especially in a low‐cover percentage setting, and when resting on top of the soil surface, produced less overland flow than bare soil. Overland flow was positively related to stone size, but inversely related to distance between stones. Overland flow yield was always greater when stones were embedded than when on top of the soil surface. The effect of stone size on increasing the degree of overland flow was of greater significance than the effect of the distance between stones on reducing overland flow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-360
Number of pages16
JournalHydrological Processes
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991


  • Distance between stones
  • Overland flow
  • Stone cover
  • Stone position
  • Stone size


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