Solute Transport Under Water Table Fluctuations in a Fine Sand and a Sandy Clay Loam Soil

  •  Cesáreo Landeros-Sánchez    
  •  Itzel Galaviz-Villa    
  •  Ma. del Refugio Castañeda-Chávez    
  •  Fabiola Lango-Reynoso    
  •  Alejandra Soto-Estrada    
  •  Iourii Nikolskii-Gavrilov    


Drainage contributes to removing the excess of water from cultivated land. In general, most common drainage systems lead to loss of fertilizers applied for plant growth and yield improvement. Thus, the main objective of this work was to study experimentally the redistribution of solutes within the soil profile caused by water table fluctuations by making use of a non-reactive tracer in laboratory studies on soil columns. Two soil materials, namely fine sand and a sandy clay loam soil, were used in this study. Use was made of potassium chloride as a non-reactive tracer. Profiles of chloride redistribution as a function of depth caused by a first drainage of a saturated column with chloride in the surface layer, sub-irrigation and a second drainage were obtained for the fine sand columns with draining water levels at depths 25.5 and 44.5 cm, and for the sandy clay loam columns with a draining water level at depth 44.5 cm. Although only results for water table depth at 44.5 cm for both soils materials are presented. The redistribution of chloride in both the fine sand and the sandy clay loam columns was dominantly attributed to convective movement of solutes and was considered to be little influenced by diffusion. Preferential flow could have taken place through large sized pores of the fine sand columns. The knowledge and data of this study is a contribution towards that needed to define operation strategies for sub-irrigation-drainage systems which can lead to optimize fertilizers use by crops.

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