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Infiltration characteristics of bare soil under sequential water application events

King, B.A. and Bjorneberg, D.L. (2012) Infiltration characteristics of bare soil under sequential water application events. In: Proceedings of the Irrigation Association Conference. Orlando, Florida, November 4-8, 2012. 9 pp.

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The marked reduction in infiltration rate caused by formation of a soil surface seal is a well known phenomenon but often ignored in infiltration models. The effect sequential water application events have on infiltration rate and soil surface seal formation has rarely been investigated. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect sequential water application events have on the infiltration rate of a Portneuf silt loam soil with and without water droplet impact. The Portneuf silt loam soil developed a soil surface seal that reduced infiltration rate both with and without droplet impact on the bare soil surface. When the soil surface was protected during the first rainfall event, drying the soil did not increase infiltration rate for subsequent rainfall events when the soil surface was protected, but drying did increase infiltration when the soil was unprotected in the first rainfall event. Final infiltration rate was inversely related to specific power of the simulated rainfall. Either with or without water droplet impact, final infiltration rate for the Portneuf silt loam soil decreased to less than 20 mm hr-1 within three rainfall events. Given that the Portneuf silt loam soil is extremely vulnerable to surface seal development with little difference in final infiltration rate, irrigation time must be maximized and peak application rate minimized in order to maximize infiltration depth. These requirements combined with the operating characteristics of center pivot irrigation systems means that sprinklers with maximum wetted diameter need to be selected in order to maximize infiltrated depth.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
NWISRL Publication Number: 1467
Subjects: Irrigation > Sprinkler irrigation
Irrigation > Sprinkler irrigation > Infiltration
Irrigation > Sprinkler irrigation > Center pivot
Depositing User: Users 6 not found.
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2014 22:08
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2014 22:11
Item ID: 1533