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Temporal variability of soil hydraulic properties subsequent to tillage

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Item Summary

Title: Temporal variability of soil hydraulic properties subsequent to tillage
Authors: Mapa, Ranjith Bandara
Keywords: Soil permeability -- Measurement
Soil moisture -- Measurement
Issue Date: 1984
Abstract: Computer simulation of water and solute movement provides a means of optimizing water management with less field experimentation. Reliable estimates of soil hydraulic properties, which are the input parameters in numerical simulation models, are difficult to obtain because of spatial and temporal variability. Spatial variability has received much attention in recent years. On the other hand little information is available on the changes in soil hydraulic properties subsequent to tillage. Temporal variability of five soil physical properties for two soils, Molokai series (Typic Torrox) and Waialua series (Vertic Haplustolls), were measured under controlled field conditions. Properties of particular interest were hydraulic conductivity as a function of soil water content and suction, sorptivity, water-content suction relationship, porosity and macroporosity. All external compaction components such as traffic, intercultivation and rainfall impact, that cause temporal variability, were eliminated. Thus, changes in hydraulic properties were imposed principally by internal forces, that is, the changes in the pore water component of effective stress resulting from wetting and drying. A drip irrigation system provided controlled water application at desired intervals. Soil water suction was monitored during the drainage periods between irrigations. Hydraulic conductivity near saturation was the property which showed the greatest decrease with wetting and drying following tillage. Sorptivity and soil water retention also decreased significantly for both the soils. The first and second wetting and drying cycles caused the most compaction. Waialua soil showed greater compaction than the Molokai soil perhaps due to the vertic characteristics of the former. The most promising simple measurement, sorptivity with negative head, was further evaluated and recommended as a rapid and inexpensive method to characterize variability of soil hydrologic behavior before other more demanding methods are undertaken. The importance of temporal variability (from wetting and drying) relative to spatial variability was evaluated by comparing temporal changes in sorptivity measured on small plots with spatial changes measured in a large sugarcane field. Geostatistical analysis of the field sorptivity data indicated no structure in the variance with measured distances. The geometric mean and standard deviation of log sorptivity were considered sufficient to characterize the distribution. The comparison of temporal and spatial variability showed that temporal variability may in some cases be of greater consequence than spatial variability. The importance of temporal variability of hydraulic properties in modeling soil water movement was further illustrated with a numerical simulation model using K(8) and h(8) data for the Molokai and Waialua soils. The computed water content profiles for infiltration and redistribution showed considerable differences for the pre-irrigation and post-irrigation input functions. These results illustrate that modeling soil water movement for the entire cropping cycle using the parameters measured at only one stage may result in unrealistic predictions for other parts of the cycle.
Description: Typescript.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1984.
Bibliography: leaves [187]-199.
xvii, 199 leaves, bound ill. 29 cm
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:CTAHR Ph.D Dissertations
Ph.D. - Agronomy and Soil Science

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