Date of Award
Master of Science
Soil hydraulic conductivity is important for liquid flow and transport processes in soil. Its value is affected by factors such as soil texture, soil structure, and porosity. These factors are influenced by plants and by human activities such as tillage and traffic compaction. Our study investigates soil hydraulic conductivity in a non-wheel traffic corn row, a wheel traffic corn row, and a reconstructed prairie. Soil hydraulic conductivity was obtained by steady-state tension infiltration measurements, by numerical inversion of the Richards equation, and with pedotransfer functions. The results show that traffic compaction and vegetation affect soil hydraulic conductivity over a range of water tension. At small water tensions, soil hydraulic conductivity of a non-wheel traffic corn row was largest, followed by prairie and a wheel traffic corn row. However, at relatively large water tension, soil hydraulic conductivity of a wheel traffic corn row was largest followed by prairie and non-wheel traffic corn row. Furthermore, the results also show that pedotransfer functions used in this study are not refined enough to detect the effects of traffic compaction and vegetation. Actual field water flow measurements are needed for accurate estimation of soil hydraulic conductivity.
Ketpratoom, Sitha, "Soil hydraulic conductivity in a non-wheel traffic corn row, a wheel traffic corn row, and a reconstructed prairie" (2014). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 13871.