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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 58 No. 5, p. 1358-1363
     
    Received: June 28, 1993


    * Corresponding author(s): nu020861@vm1.nodak.edu
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doi:10.2136/sssaj1994.03615995005800050011x

Steady-State Temperature Distribution in Nonisothermal, Unsaturated Closed Soil Cells

  1. Lyle Prunty  and
  2. Robert Horton
  1. Dep. of Soil Science, North Dakota State Univ., P.O. Box 5638, Fargo, ND 58105
    Agronomy Dep., Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA 50011

Abstract

Abstract

Ambient temperature interference (ATI) is a concern that has not been adequately addressed in studies of coupled water and heat transport in unsaturated soil. Our objectives were to detect ATI, minimize it, and obtain nonisothermal, steady-state temperature and moisture profiles with minimum ATI. Two soils, a sand and a silty clay loam (sicl), were packed into cylindrical cells with uniform moisture. Temperature gradients were imposed by making one end warmer (40, 23, or 19°C) than the other end (1 or 9°C). Steady-state temperature profile data were obtained for various cell configurations and ambient temperatures. The configuration showing least ATI was a 2.5-cm-diam., 5-cm-long cell, with 8 cm radial insulation. Longer cells of the same basic design or with less insulation had greater ATI, as did a larger diameter cell (4 cm diam. and 14 cm long). All tests (sand at 0.049 m3 m−3 moisture; sicl at 0.049 and 0.146 m3 m−3) using lowest ATI cells produced concave upward temperature profiles. In contrast, the larger diameter cell (sicl, high ATI) had concave downward profiles. Water redistribution into the cooler half of cells was more pronounced with sand (>90%) than sicl. Cells exhibiting low ATI appear to provide more consistent and meaningful soil temperature and moisture profiles than had previously been obtainable.

Contribution of the North Dakota Agric. Exp. Stn. Journal no. 2170.

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