Laminar sheetflows, transporting sediment at their capacity rates, both with and without rainfall disturbance, were investigated. Values of flow depth and relative submergence were very small. In the flows without rainfall, measured velocities exceeded the predictions of the smooth-surface, clear-water laminar model by an average of 12 per cent. Reduced flow resistance due to high sediment concentrations may explain this result. Velocities in the rainfall-disturbed flows were not significantly different from the predictions of the smooth-surface, clear-water model, and the velocity reduction due to rainfall was about 12 per cent. Although the uniformity of rainfall intensity under the single-nozzle rainfall simulator is high, variation of momentum and kinetic energy fluxes along the 1-5 m long flume was significant. The rainfall angle of incidence was highly correlated with deviations from expected flow velocities in the upper and lower sections of the flume.