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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 11 No. 1, p. 29-30
    Received: June 16, 1980

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The Occurrence of Flow Channels in Soils1

  1. T. W. Simpson and
  2. R. L. Cunningham2



Specialized flow features (channels) described in Typic Hapludalf, clayey, mixed, mesic soils that have been used for waste-water irrigation are reported, to explain the mechanism for widely different water-flow velocities through soil.

A field investigation of 15 soil-pit transects revealed vertical zones of loose, porous, fine-structured soil through which rapid saturated flow occurred. The texture of the soil in the channels was clay, as was the matrix between channels.

Rapid flow of effluent-irrigation waters through channels in the soil may lessen the renovating capability of the soil because of the reduced surface area and reduced contact time. Because the channels were coincident in some cases with carbonate bedrock solution channels, possible ground-water pollution may have occurred.

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