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An investigation of localised soil heterogeneities on solute transport using a multisegement percolation system

journal contribution
posted on 2023-02-07, 00:40 authored by F Stagnitti, John SherwoodJohn Sherwood, G Allinson, L Evans, M Allinson, L Li, I Phillips
A multisegment percolation system (MSPS) consisting of 25 individual collection wells was constructed to study the effects of localised soil heterogeneities on the transport of solutes in the vadose zone. In particular, this paper discusses the transport of water and nutrients (NO3_, Cl−, PO43−) through structurally stable, free-draining agricultural soil from Victoria, Australia. A solution of nutrients was irrigated onto the surface of a large undisturbed soil core over a 12-h period. This was followed by a continuous irrigation of distilled water at a rate which did not cause ponding for a further 18 days. During this time, the volume of leachate and the concentration of nutrients in the leachate of each well were measured. Very significant variation in drainage patterns across a small spatial scale was observed. Leaching of nitrate-nitrogen and chloride from the core occurred two days after initial application. However, less than 1% of the total applied phosphate-phosphorus leached from the soil during the 18-day experiment, indicating strong adsorption. Our experiments indicate considerable heterogeneity in water flow patterns and solute leaching on a small spatial scale. These results have significant ramifications for modelling solute transport and predicting nutrient loadings on a larger scale. © 1998 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

History

Journal

New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research

Volume

41

Pagination

603-612

ISSN

0028-8233

eISSN

1175-8775

Language

English

Issue

4

Publisher

SIR PUBLISHING