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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 51 No. 6, p. 1593-1599
    Received: Oct 22, 1986

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Intermittent Evaporation from Soil Columns as Affected by a Gel-forming Conditioner1

  1. A. M. Al-Omran,
  2. M. A. Mustafa and
  3. A. A. Shalaby2



The effect of an organic super gel commercially called Jalma (containing 24% humic acids, and 3.8% polysaccharides) at rates of 0.0, 0.4, 0.8, and 1.6% on aggregation index (AI) and relative swelling index (RSI) of loamy sand, sandy loam, and clay loam soils was studied. Furthermore, the influence of these rates and two irrigation intervals, 7 and 14 d, on intermittent evaporation from surface-treated soil columns were also investigated. Twenty-two or 44-mm of water were applied every 7 or 14 d, respectively. The soil columns were placed in a walk-in controlled growth chamber with potential evaporation of 8.2 mm/d. Addition of 0.4% Jalma significantly increased AI of the three soils by 33 to 38%. Increase of the Jalma rate to 0.8% significantly improved the AI of the fine-textured sample but not the coarse-textured samples. Further increase to 1.6% had no significant effect on the AI of the three samples. The lowest rate of Jalma significantly increased RSI of the three samples. The results also indicated a sharp, significant increase in RSI with increase in Jalma rate to 1.6%. In general, Jalma treatment significantly reduced cumulative evaporation and hence increased the amount of water conserved (AWC) after the first wetting/drying cycle. After four evaporation cycles, on 0.4% treated loamy sand, sandy loam, and clay loam soils, the AWC values were, respectively, 4.3, 3.2, and 1.5 times that of the untreated soils. The AWC values for untreated loamy sand, sandy loam, and clay loam soils irrigated every 14 d were, respectively, 2.6, 1.7, and 1.6 times those irrigated weekly.

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