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Book: Field Soil Water Regime
Published by: Soil Science Society of America



  1.  p. 107-117
    SSSA Special Publication 5.
    Field Soil Water Regime

    R.R. Bruce (ed.)

    ISBN: 978-0-89118-900-8


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Water Retention and Flow in Layered Soil Profiles1

  1. D. E. Miller2


In general, any profile discontinuity that affects pore size distribution will decrease water movement across the discontinuity boundary compared with a uniform profile. If the profile contains a layer less permeable to water than the soil above, water can be transmitted through the soil more rapidly than through the layer and may accumulate above the layer. A coarse layer has a high saturated conductivity, but it ceases to transmit significant amounts of water at relatively low suctions. Thus, the suction in soil above a coarse layer will be lower and the water content higher than in a nonlayered soil. The water retained in soil above a coarse layer is determined by the coarseness of the layer, depth to the layer, and desorption characteristics of the soil. The effects of coarse and slowly permeable layers are similar in that suction distributions are dominated by the nature and position of the layer, and water contents above the layer are related to soil desorption characteristics.

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Copyright © 1973. Copyright © 1973 by the Soil Science Society of America, Inc., 5585 Guilford Rd., Madison, WI 53711 USA