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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 68 No. 4, p. 1191-1196
    Received: July 18, 2003

    * Corresponding author(s): jan.siemens@tu-berlin.de
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Comparison of Three Methods for Field Measurement of Solute Leaching in a Sandy Soil

  1. Jan Siemens * and
  2. Martin Kaupenjohann
  1. Institute of Ecology, Dep. of Soil Science, Berlin Univ. of Technology, Salzufer 11-12, D-10587 Berlin, Germany


To identify the most suitable technique for measuring solute leaching in a sandy soil, we compared three methods in an irrigation experiment (irrigation rates: 5 and 2.4 mm h−1) using Cl as a tracer. We tested tensiometer-controlled suction plates, wick samplers, and ion-exchange resin boxes installed between fiberglass pads. Ten samplers of each type were installed at a 52-cm depth (suction plates) or a 60-cm depth (wick and resin box samplers) into soil monoliths. The recovery of water and Cl by the suction plates varied little with irrigation rate (107–118%). The wick samplers performed well during 5 mm h−1 irrigation (Cl recovery: 111%; water recovery: 103%). However, at the irrigation rate of 2.4 mm h−1, the water recovery was significantly lower (70%), probably because the soil suction exceeded the maximum capillary force of the wicks. The wicks did not induce a retardation or additional dispersion of Cl compared with suction plates. The recovery of Cl by the resin boxes was only 6%. Tensiometer-controlled suction plates allowed an overall satisfactory estimation of water and solute fluxes in the sandy soil.

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