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Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo

versão On-line ISSN 1806-9657


AMADO, T. J. C.; PROCHNOW, D.  e  ELTZ, F. L. F.. Soil and water losses in periods of climatic anomalies: "El Niño" and "La Niña" in southern Brazil. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2002, vol.26, n.3, pp.819-827. ISSN 1806-9657.

The climate of Southern Brazil is affected by climatic anomalies called "El Niño" and "La Niña". During the first phenomenon, the precipitation volume is higher than normal. On the contrary, water deficits are observed during "La Niña". Data of soil and water losses associated to these climatic anomalies are scarce, making their study the main objective of this work. An experiment on soil loss by natural rainfall was carried out on that account in Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil, during seven years (April 1993 to March 2000) on a Ultisol soil. The regional climate is a subtropical Cfa without droughts, according to the Köeppen climate classification, with an annual mean precipitation of 1,686 mm. Experimental plots were 3.5 m wide and 22 m long, with 0.055 m m-1 slope, enclosed by metal borders, with a runoff collector device at the lower end. This recipient was linked to a tank, on its behalf linked to a second tank by a GEIB divisor. In a completely randomized design with two replications, two treatments were evaluated: a) bare soil, and b) corn (Zea mays) cropped with velvet bean (Stizolobium cinereum) under no tillage. The total volume of precipitation, erosivity index (EI30) and rainfall intensity were determined using weather data from the meteorological station of the Federal University of Santa Maria. After each rainfall event, soil and water loss were determined. Rainfalls of extreme intensity during "El Niño" gave rise to erosion increase above the mean of the whole experimental period, while on the other hand soil and water losses were lower during "La Niña", compared to this mean. One rainfall event during "El Niño" caused soil losses equivalent to those of a whole year of "La Niña". The no tillage system of corn/velvet bean was efficient for erosion control, even during "El Niño", and was an important strategy to counter "La Niña".

Palavras-chave : climate anomalies; natural rainfall; erosion; soil conservation.

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