Fiberglass Wicks for Sampling of Water and Solutes in the Vadose Zone
- J. Boll,
- T. S. Steenhuis and
- J. S. Selker
Sampling solute concentrations in the vadose zone provides an early-warning system for groundwater pollution. Various sampling devices are available. This study evaluates the functionality of fiberglass wicks in a soil solution sampler. Fiberglass wicks act as a hanging water column, drawing water from the undisturbed field soil without external application of suction. Flow characteristics of wicks were observed in the laboratory by miscible-displacement tests using Br and an organic dye. The matric potential in the wick as a function of flow rate was measured. Fiberglass wicks behaved like a porous medium that effectively could apply a suction to the soil while only minimally retarding the organic dye. The relationship between matric potential, moisture content, and unsaturated conductivity was determined for several wicks. Based on these relationships, a set of curves was produced depicting travel time of nonadsorbed chemicals and the matric potential in the wick as a function of flow rate. These curves can be used for selecting optimum wick length and diameter for a given sampler configuration.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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