Effect of water temperature on cohesive soil erosion
In light of increased stream temperatures due to urbanization and climate change, the
effect of water temperature on cohesive soil erosion should be explored. The objectives of this study are to: determine the effect of water temperature on the erosion rates of clay; determine how erosion rates vary with clay mineralogy; and, explore the relationship between zeta potential and erosion rate. Samples of kaolinite- and montmorillonite-sand mixtures, and vermiculite-dominated soil were placed in the wall of a recirculating flume channel using a vertical sample orientation. Erosion rate was measured under a range of shear stresses (0.1-20 Pa) for a period of five minutes per shear stress at water temperatures of 12, 20, and 27ï¿½"C. The zeta potential was determined for each clay type at the three testing temperatures and compared to mean erosion rates. The kaolinite erosion rate doubled when the temperature increased from 12 to 20ï¿½"C, and erosion of vermiculite samples tripled when the temperature increased from 20 to 27ï¿½"C. The montmorillonite samples generally eroded through mechanical failure rather than fluvial erosion, and the limited fluvial erosion of the montmorillonite-sand mixture was not correlated with water temperature. The data suggest correlation between zeta potential and erosion rate; however, due to the small sample size (n=3), statistically significant correlation was not indicated. Research should continue to explore the influence of water temperature on cohesive soil erosion to better understand the influence of clay mineralogy. Due to the high degree of variability in cohesive soil erosion, multiple replications should be used in future work. The vertical sample orientation enabled discrimination between fluvial erosion and mass wasting and is recommended for future studies.