A Zero-Tension Sampler for the Collection of Soil Water in Macropore Systems
- K. E. Simmons * and
- D. E. Baker
A zero-tension sampler was designed for the collection of soil leachate at 1.2 m in the soil profile to determine the effects of dairy manure and NH3NO3 applications on water quality in soils possessing a macropore structure. Nitrate-N concentrations in soil water collected from these samplers were compared with concentrations in soil water collected from conventional ceramic porous-cup samplers. The zero-tension samplers were constructed from 5-cm polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe and installed at a 45° angle in the soil profile. This design minimized the amount of field excavation and the interruption of routine cultivation. On average, approximately 50% of the samplers contained solution after rainfall and the data were effective at demonstrating the effect of macropore flow on NO3-N concentrations in the leachate. Nitrate-N concentrations in soil water collected from porous-cup samplers were consistently higher than those collected from zero-tension samplers. Mean NO3-N concentrations in soil water from porous-cup and zero-tension samplers ranged from approximately 5 to 60 mg L−1 and 0 to 20 mg L−1, respectively.
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