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Polyacrylamide effects on infiltration in irrigated agriculture

Sojka, R.E. and Lentz, R.D. and Ross, C.W. and Trout, T.J. and Bjorneberg, D.L. and Aase, J.K. (1998) Polyacrylamide effects on infiltration in irrigated agriculture. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 53(4):325-331.

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Using polyacrylamide (PAM) following the NRCS conservation practice standard
increases infiltration in furrow irrigation. PAM at 10 g in-' (10 ppm) during water advance
nearly precludes detachment and transport of soil in furrows. If any sediment is entrained in the
flow, it is readily flocculated in the presence of PAM and settles to the furrow-bottom in loose pervious
structures. It was hypothesized that depositional surface seals that block pores are reduced or
made more permeable with PAM. On Portneuf silt beams (coarse-silty, mixed, superactive,
Durinodic Xeric Haplocalcid) furrow irrigation net infiltration increased 15%. Net increases on
finer textured soils were generally higher. Furrow streams containing more than 5 g L (5,000
ppm) sediment reduced infiltration and infiltration rate more than fivefold compared to streams
of clean water. Tension infiltrometry confirmed that PAM's maintenance of open pores to the furrow
surface provides the infiltration increase mechanism. Infiltration rates at 40 and 100 min
(1.6 and 3.9 inches) tension in PAM-treated furrows were double the rates of control furrows.
Recirculating infiltrometer data showed a 30% infiltration increase with PAM use and infiltration
was inversely related to maximum sediment concentration in the flow. Furrow inflow of
45 L min-1 (12 gal min-1 ) with PAM treatment decreased stream advance time 13% while reducing
sediment loss 76% compared to untreated 23 L min-1 (6 gal min-1) inflows. Use of
PAM in sprinkler irrigation streams reduced runoff 70% and sediment loss 75%, but tension infiltration
measurements were inconsistent, suggesting changes in surface-sealing effects with sprinkler
application of PAM are transient.

Item Type: Article
NWISRL Publication Number: 0974
Subjects: Irrigation > Furrow irrigation > Infiltration > Polyacrylamide
Polyacrylamide (PAM) > Water-soluble PAM (WSPAM) > Infiltration management
Mass Import - autoclassified (may be erroneous)
Depositing User: Users 6 not found.
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2010 21:54
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2016 16:17
Item ID: 705