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

 

This chapter in FIELD SOIL WATER REGIME

  1.  p. 77-105
    SSSA Special Publication 5.
    Field Soil Water Regime

    R.R. Bruce (ed.)

    ISBN: 978-0-89118-900-8

     

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doi:10.2136/sssaspecpub5.c5

Relationships Between Soil Structure Characteristics and Hydraulic Conductivity1

  1. J. Bouma and
  2. J. L. Anderson2

Abstract

Relationships between soil structure, as characterized by morphometric methods, and hydraulic conductivity (K) were explored for a series of six artificial sand-clay mixtures with characteristic basic fabrics and four pedal soil horizons. The hydraulic behavior was strongly affected by differences in basic fabrics. Pore size distributions (measured with a point-count technique in thin sections) could be used to predict K values of the soil mixtures, but a pore continuity model and large matching factors were used. A physical model, using moisture retention data, yielded comparable results with less effort. Morphometric analysis was shown to have a specific function in studying the occurrence of pore types, such as planar voids and channels, that constitute only a small fraction of total pore volume, but strongly affect Ksat Results were used to construct simple models of natural soil structures. A planar-void model, assuming vertical plane continuity, was used to calculate Ksat of the four natural pedal soil materials. Results obtained were close to experimental values measured in situ by the double-tube method.

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