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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Effect of Soil Properties on Unsaturated Hydraulic Conductivity Pore-Interaction Factors


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 54 No. 6, p. 1509-1519
    Received: Jan 19, 1990

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. W. M. Schuh  and
  2. R. L. Cline
  1. North Dakota State Water Commission, 900 East Boulevard, Bismarck, ND 58505



The variability of the pore-interaction factor, ρ, for a microscopic model proposed for predicting unsaturated hydraulic conductivity, K(θ), from soil water-retention, Ψ(θ), data was examined in relation to soil particle-size data and indices, bulk density, organic C, parameters for the van Genuchten Ψ(θ) function, an index (W) of total energy of drainage and soil-series, toposequential, and geographic groupings. The ρ exhibited no trend relationship to any of the soil properties tested. However, a change in the distribution of ρ was observed in relation to the geometric-mean particle diameter (Gd) and other soil textural variables. For Gd < 0.08 mm, variability was much larger than for soils with Gd ≥ 0.08 mm. The latter consisted entirely of soils in the sand and loamy sand textural groups. A similar distributional relationship also occurred for ρ vs. W. Examination of ρ on three sites of the Hecla soil series and on related toposequential soils indicated that classification of ρ on the basis of soil series or of soil-association groupings is a feasible strategy for ρ parameter estimation on some soils. The exponential factor η for a macroscopic model was also investigated. The η was found to be related to W as an exponential function over the full data range. However, η vs. W was nearly identical to a linear function for W data extending from 0 to 400 cm-γ (where γ is the density of water). The η was also strongly related to Gd as a power function, and to other textural variables as exponential functions. The increasing slope of the power function for Gd < 0.08 mm indicated a large potential error of prediction for K(θ) on fine-textured soils.

Contribution from the North Dakota State Water Commission.

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