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Title: Pore size distribution of soil near saturation as affected by soil type, land use, and soil amendments

item Iliasson, Amrax
item Wagner, Larry
item LEVY, GUY

Submitted to: American Geophysical Union
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/23/2008
Publication Date: 12/15/2008
Citation: Mamedov, A., Wagner, L.E., Levy, G.J. 2008. Pore size distribution of soil near saturation as affected by soil type, land use, and soil amendments. Eos Trans. AGU, 89(53), Fall Meeting Supplement. Abstract H41C-0893, American Geophysical Union.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Storage and flow of water in soil voids, which are related to the size and geometry of the voids and flow rate are usually controlled by the void of the smallest size. Another reason for the complexity of water flow in soils is the intricate nature and change of the soil pores due to the modification of soil structure under different agricultural management and climatic conditions. Shrinking and swelling stresses enhance breakdown of aggregates and to subsequent collapse of pores, thus adversely affecting the movement of water and solutes in the soil. Our objective was to study the role of soil type, nature of cultivation, waste and soil stabilizers application, and soil condition on disturbed soil pore-size distribution, drainable porosity and water holding capacity at near saturation (infiltration porosity) using the high energy moisture characteristic method. In this method, the wetting process of the aggregates is accurately controlled, and the energy of hydration and entrapped air are the main forces responsible for aggregate breakdown. We studied a large number (> $300) of soil samples from different climatic regions varying (i) in their inherent properties (clay mineralogy, dispersion potential, texture, organic matter, Fe and Al oxides content), and; (ii) the conditions prevailing in the soil (water quality, salinity, sodicity, redox potential, type of tillage); and finally that were subjected to the addition of different soil amendments (polymers, gypsum, manure, sludge). The results showed that structural stability and pore size distribution strongly depended on soil type, conditions prevailing in the soil and the type of amendment used. Detailed analyses of the results provided valuable information on inter- and intra- aggregate porosities that may have vital bearing on the understanding of (i) solution transport processes in different soil types under different treatments or with different solute concentration, and (ii) down-profile transport of soil particles/colloids and nutrients and its impact on physical and chemical characteristics of soils.