Investigation of runoff generation processes and response to changes in catchment characteristics (e.g. land use, soil type, slope, etc.), tillage practice and climate pattern (e.g. rainfall intensity and rainfall duration) is important for understanding of the hydrological cycle and developing land management practices for water and soil conservation. Field and indoor artificial hydrological experiments provide an efficient way for the study of the above processes. This study gave a summary of artificial hydrological experiments using rainfall simulator in China, especially in the red soil-covered region of Jiangxi province. Experiment setting for field and indoor artificial hydrological experiments were introduced; the water balance, runoff components (i.e. surface runoff, subsurface runoff at different depths), runoff amount and relationship to rainfall events were studied and assessment of land coverage and tillage practices on soil and water conservation were conducted. Based on the literature review, it implies that hydrological process at field slope requires more investigation in the following aspects: (1) improvement of monitoring strategies and methodology and isotopic method may be used to improve understanding of hydrological regimes, (2) developing long-term in situ experimental study to analyse soil water movement at different temporal and spatial scales and (3) developing and improving modelling of soil water movement.
Part of the book: Hydrology of Artificial and Controlled Experiments