Paul D. Hallett, Giora J. Kidron, Radka Kodešová and Ľubomír Lichner
Henryk Czachor and Ľubomír Lichner
The aim of this study was to determine the potential development of water sorptivity of soil aggregates by heating. Soil aggregates were sampled from arable layer of 5 Polish soils: Haplic Luvisol 1 from Czesławice, Haplic Luvisol 2 from Wierzchucinek, Haplic Cambisol from Felin, Gleyic Mollic Cambisol from Chylice, and Haplic Phaeozem from Grabiec. Three aggregates of each soil type with minimum diameter between 4 and 10 mm were heated in the oven for at least 3 hours at temperatures 20, 100, 200, 250, and 360ºC. After each temperature treatment the soil aggregates were conditioned at the room temperature for 16 hours. Laboratory measurements of water sorptivity of soil aggregates were performed under a negative tension h0 = -2 cm using tension infiltrometer. It was found that the exposure to temperatures between 100 and 200°C tends to decrease water sorptivity of aggregates from all the studied soils but one (Haplic Luvisol 1), followed by about two- to four-fold increase in water sorptivity for exposure to temperatures of 250°C (in Haplic Luvisol 1, Haplic Luvisol 2, and Haplic Phaeozem) or 360°C (in Haplic Cambisol and Gleyic Mollic Cambisol).
Ľubomír Lichner, Artemi Cerdà, Miroslav Tesař and Kálmán Rajkai
Ľubomír Lichner, Jaromír Dušek, Louis W. Dekker, Natalia Zhukova, Pavol Faško, Ladislav Holko and Miloslav Šír
The heterogeneity of water flow and solute transport was assessed during radioactive tracer infiltration experiment in a black clay loam soil using modified methods to estimate the effective cross section (ECS) and the degree of preferential flow (DPF). The results of field and numerical experiments showed that these parameters characterized the heterogeneity of water flow in the soils unequivocally. The ECS decreases non-linearly and the DPF increases linearly with an increase of the bypassing ratio (ratio of macropore flow rate to total flow rate). The ECS decreased and the DPF increased with depth, which suggests an increase in the heterogeneity of water flow with depth. The plot of the DPF against ECS values calculated from the tracer experiment data was consistent with the relationship obtained by the numerical simulation assuming preferential flow in the neighbourhood of three probes.
Ľubomír Lichner, Ladislav Holko, Natalia Zhukova, Karsten Schacht, Kálmán Rajkai, Nándor Fodor and Renáta Sándor
This study tested the hypothesis that the changes in hydrophysical parameters and heterogeneity of water flow in an aeolian sandy soil have the same trend as the process of succession. Three sub-sites were demarcated at the area of about 50 m x 50 m. The first sub-site was located at the pine-forest glade covered with a biological soil crust and represented the initial stage of succession. The second sub-site was located at the grassland and represented more advanced stage of succession. The third sub-site was located at the pine forest with 30-year old Scots pines and represented advanced stage (close to climax) of succession. The sandy soil at the surface was compared to the soil at the pine-forest glade at 50 cm depth, which served as a control because it had a similar texture but limited impact of vegetation or organic matter. It was found that any type of vegetation cover studied had a strong influence on hydrophysical parameters and heterogeneity of water flow in an aeolian sandy soil during hot and dry spells. The changes in some hydrophysical parameters (WDPT, R, k(-2 cm), Sw(-2 cm), ECS and DPF) and heterogeneity of water flow in an aeolian sandy soil had the same trend as the process of succession, but it was not so in the case of Ksand Se(-2 cm), probably due to the higher content of smaller soil particles in grassland soil in comparison with that content at other sub-sites. Both the persistence and index of water repellency of pure sand differed significantly from those of grassland, glade and forest soils. The highest repellency parameter values in forest soil resulted in the lowest value of both the water sorptivity and hydraulic conductivity in this soil in comparison with other soils studied. The highest value of ethanol sorptivity and the lowest value of saturated hydraulic conductivity in the grassland soil in comparison with other soils studied were due to the higher content of fine-grained (silt and clay) particles in the grassland soil. The effective cross section and the degree of preferential flow of pure sand differed significantly from those of grassland, glade and forest soils. The change in soil hydrophysical parameters due to soil water repellency resulted in preferential flow in the grassland, glade and forest soils, while the wetting front in pure sand area exhibited a form typical of that for stable flow. The latter shape of the wetting front can be expected in the studied soils in spring, when soil water repellency is alleviated substantially. The columnar shape of the wetting front, which can be met during heavy rains following long dry and hot spells, was attributed to redistribution of applied water on the surface to a series of micro-catchments, which acted as runon and runoff zones.
Viliam Nagy, Peter Šurda, Ľubomír Lichner, Attila J. Kovács and Gábor Milics
Soil compaction causes important physical modifications at the subsurface soil, especially from 10 to 30 cm depths. Compaction leads to a decrease in infiltration rates, in saturated hydraulic conductivity, and in porosity, as well as causes an increase in soil bulk density. However, compaction is considered to be a frequent negative consequence of applied agricultural management practices in Slovakia.
Detailed determination of soil compaction and the investigation of a compaction impact on water content, water penetration depth and potential change in water storage in sandy loam soil under sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) was carried out at 3 plots (K1, K2 and K3) within an experimental site (field) K near Kalinkovo village (southwest Slovakia). Plot K1 was situated on the edge of the field, where heavy agricultural equipment was turning. Plot K2 represented the ridge (the crop row), and plot K3 the furrow (the inter–row area of the field). Soil penetration resistance and bulk density of undisturbed soil samples was determined together with the infiltration experiments taken at all defined plots.
The vertical bulk density distribution was similar to the vertical soil penetration resistance distribution, i.e., the highest values of bulk density and soil penetration resistance were estimated at the plot K1 in 15–20 cm depths, and the lowest values at the plot K2. Application of 50 mm of water resulted in the penetration depth of 30 cm only at all 3 plots. Soil water storage measured at the plot K2 (in the ridge) was higher than the soil water storage measured at the plot K3 (in the furrow), and 4.2 times higher than the soil water storage measured at the most compacted plot K1 on the edge of the field. Results of the experiments indicate the sequence in the thickness of compacted soil layers at studied plots in order (from the least to highest compacted ones): K2–K3–K1.
Vincenzo Alagna, Massimo Iovino, Vincenzo Bagarello, Jorge Mataix-Solera and Ľubomír Lichner
Assessment of soil water repellency (SWR) was conducted in the decomposed organic floor layer (duff) and in the mineral soil layer of two Mediterranean pine forests, one in Italy and the other in Spain, by the widely-used water drop penetration time (WDPT) test and alternative indices derived from infiltration experiments carried out by the minidisk infiltrometer (MDI). In particular, the repellency index (RI) was calculated as the adjusted ratio between ethanol and water soil sorptivities whereas the water repellency cessation time (WRCT) and the specifically proposed modified repellency index (RIm) were derived from the hydrophobic and wettable stages of a single water infiltration experiment. Time evolution of SWR and vegetation cover influence was also investigated at the Italian site. All indices unanimously detected severe SWR conditions in the duff of the pine forests. The mineral subsoils in the two forests showed different wettability and the clay-loam subsoil at Ciavolo forest was hydrophobic even if characterized by organic matter (OM) content similar to the wettable soil of an adjacent glade. It was therefore assumed that the composition rather than the total amount of OM influenced SWR. The hydraulic conductivity of the duff differed by a factor of 3.8–5.8 between the two forested sites thus influencing the vertical extent of SWR. Indeed, the mineral subsoil of Javea showed wettable or weak hydrophobic conditions probably because leaching of hydrophobic compounds was slowed or prevented at all. Estimations of SWR according to the different indices were in general agreement even if some discrepancies were observed. In particular, at low hydrophobicity levels the SWR indices gathered from the MDI tests were able to signal sub-critical SWR conditions that were not detected by the traditional WDPT index. The WRCT and modified repellency index RIm yielded SWR estimates in reasonable agreement with those obtained with the more cumbersome RI test and, therefore, can be proposed as alternative procedures for SWR assessment.
Nasrollah Sepehrnia, Mohammad Ali Hajabbasi, Majid Afyuni and Ľubomír Lichner
This study explored the effect of soil water repellency (SWR) on soil hydrophysical properties with depth. Soils were sampled from two distinctly wettable and water repellent soil profiles at depth increments from 0-60 cm. The soils were selected because they appeared to either wet readily (wettable) or remain dry (water repellent) under field conditions. Basic soil properties (MWD, SOM, θv) were compared to hydrophysical properties (Ks, Sw, Se, Sww, Swh, WDPT, RIc, RIm and WRCT) that characterise or are affected by water repellency. Our results showed both soil and depth affected basic and hydrophysical properties of the soils (p <0.001). Soil organic matter (SOM) was the major property responsible for water repellency at the selected depths (0-60). Water repellency changes affected moisture distribution and resulted in the upper layer (0-40 cm) of the repellent soil to be considerably drier compared to the wettable soil. The water repellent soil also had greater MWDdry and Ks over the entire 0-60 cm depth compared to the wettable soil. Various measures of sorptivity, Sw, Se, Sww, Swh, were greater through the wettable than water repellent soil profile, which was also reflected in field and dry WDPT measurements. However, the wettable soil had subcritical water repellency, so the range of data was used to compare indices of water repellency. WRCT and RIm had less variation compared to WDPT and RIc. Estimating water repellency using WRCT and RIm indicated that these indices can detect the degree of SWR and are able to better classify SWR degree of the subcritical-repellent soil from the wettable soil.
Massimo Iovino, Pavla Pekárová, Paul D. Hallett, Ján Pekár, Ľubomír Lichner, Jorge Mataix-Solera, Vincenzo Alagna, Richard Walsh, Annette Raffan, Karsten Schacht and Marek Rodný
The extent (determined by the repellency indices RI and RIc) and persistence (determined by the water drop penetration time, WDPT) of soil water repellency (SWR) induced by pines were assessed in vastly different geographic regions. The actual SWR characteristics were estimated in situ in clay loam soil at Ciavolo, Italy (CiF), sandy soil at Culbin, United Kingdom (CuF), silty clay soil at Javea, Spain (JaF), and sandy soil at Sekule, Slovakia (SeF). For Culbin soil, the potential SWR characteristics were also determined after oven-drying at 60°C (CuD). For two of the three pine species considered, strong (Pinus pinaster at CiF) and severe (Pinus sylvestris at CuD and SeF) SWR conditions were observed. Pinus halepensis trees induced slight SWR at JaF site. RI and RIc increased in the order: JaF < CuF < CiF < CuD < SeF, reflecting nearly the same order of WDPT increase. A lognormal distribution fitted well to histograms of RIc data from CuF and JaF, whereas CiF, CuD and SeF had multimodal distributions. RI correlated closely with WDPT, which was used to develop a classification of RI that showed a robust statistical agreement with WDPT classification according to three different versions of Kappa coefficient.