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ARS Home » Plains Area » Sidney, Montana » Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory » Agricultural Systems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #370015

Research Project: Ecologically-Sound Pest, Water and Soil Management Practices for Northern Great Plains Cropping Systems

Location: Agricultural Systems Research

Title: Determination of infiltration rate and bulk density in soils

Author
item Jabro, Jalal "jay"
item Mikha, Maysoon

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2021
Publication Date: 9/15/2021
Citation: Jabro, J.D., Mikha, M.M. 2021. Determination of infiltration rate and bulk density in soils. In:Karlen, D.L., Stott, D.E, Mikha, M.M., editors. Soil Science, Volume Two: Laboratory Methods for Soil Health Analysis. Madison, WI:Wiley. p 69-77.

Interpretive Summary: Soil infiltration is one of the most complex processes within the hydrologic cycle and the physics of this process is only partially understood. It is affected by soil physical, chemical and biological properties, vegetation cover, and farming practices. Measuring soil infiltration provides insight into some of the most challenging problems in soil-water dynamics, chemical transport through the soil profile and chemical leaching below the root zone into groundwater. Soil bulk density is another important soil characteristic that can be used as an indicator of soil compaction, which affects soil porosity, water movement, root growth, and water holding capacity. Bulk density is influenced by soil texture, total porosity, soil organic matter content, moisture content and land management practices. The main focus of this chapter is to introduce several simple methods for measuring soil infiltration rate and bulk density.

Technical Abstract: Infiltration is the downward movement of water through the land surface into the soil profile under the influence of gravity and capillary forces. It is one of the most complex processes within the terrestrial hydrologic cycle. It is affected by the physical, chemical and biological properties of the soil, vegetation cover, rainfall properties, and management practices. Soil bulk density is an important soil characteristic that can often be used as an indicator of soil compaction, affecting soil porosity, water movement, rooting depth, and water holding capacity. It is also influenced by soil texture, total porosity, amount of organic matter, moisture content and land management practices. Three methods for measuring infiltration rate and one method for measuring soil bulk density were introduced in this chapter. These two physical properties can be used as good indicators of soil compaction and soil health under field conditions.