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Soil Water

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Soil Water Reading: Applied Hydrology Sections 4.1 and 4.2 Topics Soil water properties Soil water measurement Soil water balance Subsurface water Infiltration Soil ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Soil Water


1
Soil Water
  • Reading Applied Hydrology Sections 4.1 and 4.2
  • Topics
  • Soil water properties
  • Soil water measurement
  • Soil water balance

2
Subsurface water
  • Infiltration
  • Soil moisture
  • Subsurface flow
  • Groundwater flow

3
Porous Medium Flow
  • Groundwater
  • All waters found beneath the ground surface
  • Occupies pores (void space not occupied by solid
    matter)
  • Porous media
  • Numerous pores of small size
  • Pores contain fluids (e.g., water and air)
  • Pores act as conduits for flow of fluids
  • The storage and flow through porous media is
    affected by
  • Type of rocks in a formation
  • Number, size, and arrangement of pores
  • Pores are generally irregular in shape because of
  • differences in the minerals making up the rocks
  • geologic processes experienced by them.

4
Zones of Saturation
  • Unsaturated zone
  • Zone between the land surface and water table
  • Pore contains water and air
  • Also called as vadose zone or the zone of
    aeration
  • Saturated zone
  • pores are completely filled with water
  • Contains water at greater than atmospheric
    pressure
  • Also called phreatic zone
  • Water table
  • Surface where the pore water pressure is
    atmospheric
  • Divide between saturated and unsaturated zone
  • Capillary fringe
  • Zone immediately above the water table that gets
    saturated by capillary forces

5
Soil Water
Three categories
  • Hygroscopic water
  • Microscopic film of water surrounding soil
    particles
  • Strong molecular attraction water cannot be
    removed by natural forces
  • Adhesive forces (gt31 bars and up to 10,000 bars!)
  • Capillary water
  • Water held by cohesive forces between films of
    hygroscopic water
  • Can be removed by air drying or plant absorption
  • Plants extract capillary water until the soil
    capillary force is equal to the extractive force
  • Wilting point soil capillary force gt plant
    extractive force
  • Gravity water
  • Water that moves through the soil by the force of
    gravity
  • Field capacity
  • Amount of water held in the soil after excess
    water has drained is called the field capacity of
    the soil.

6
Soil Sieves
http//www.rtg.wa.edu.au/loanpool/belmont/sieves.j
pg
7
Soil Particle Sizes(USDA Soil Classification
System
Table 1. Size limits (diameter in millimeters) of
soil separates in the USDA soil textural
classification system.
Name of soil separate Diameter limits (mm)
Very coarse sand 2.00 - 1.00
Coarse sand 1.00 - 0.50
Medium sand 0.50 - 0.25
Fine sand 0.25 - 0.10
Very fine sand 0.10 - 0.05
Silt 0.05 - 0.002
Clay less than 0.002

1 mm
0.1 mm
0.01 mm
.
0.001 mm

8
http//www.uga.edu/srel/kidsdoscience/soils-planet
s/soil-particle-size.pdf
9
Soil Texture Triangle
Source USDA Soil Survey Manual Chapter 3
10
Soil Water Content
Soil Water Content
11
Soil Water Flux, q
q Q/A
12
Soil Water Tension, y
  • Measures the suction head of the soil water
  • Like p/g in fluid mechanics but its always a
    suction (negative head)
  • Three key variables in soil water movement
  • Flux, q
  • Water content, q
  • Tension, y

Total energy head h
z0
z1
q12
z2
13
Soil Water Measurement
  • Neutron scattering (attenuation)
  • Measures volumetric water content (?v)
  • Attenuation of high-energy neutrons by hydrogen
    nucleus
  • Advantages
  • samples a relatively large soil sphere
  • repeatedly sample same site and several depths
  • accurate
  • Disadvantages
  • high cost instrument
  • radioactive licensing and safety
  • not reliable for shallow measurements near the
    soil surface
  • Dielectric constant
  • A soils dielectric constant is dependent on soil
    moisture
  • Time domain reflectometry (TDR)
  • Frequency domain reflectometry (FDR)
  • Primarily used for research purposes at this time

14
Soil Water MeasurementNeutron Attenuation
Measures Soil Water Content, ?
15
Soil Water Measurement
  • Tensiometers
  • Measure soil water potential (tension)
  • Practical operating range is about 0 to 0.75 bar
    of tension (this can be a limitation on medium-
    and fine-textured soils)
  • Electrical resistance blocks
  • Measure soil water potential (tension)
  • Tend to work better at higher tensions (lower
    water contents)
  • Thermal dissipation blocks
  • Measure soil water potential (tension)
  • Require individual calibration

16
Tensiometer for Measuring Soil Water Potential, ?
Water Reservoir
Variable Tube Length (12 in- 48 in) Based on Root
Zone Depth
Porous Ceramic Tip
Vacuum Gauge (0-100 centibar)
17
Electrical Resistance Blocks Meters
18
Soil Water Tension, y
  • Measures the suction head of the soil water
  • Like p/g in fluid mechanics but its always a
    suction (negative head)
  • Three key variables in soil water movement
  • Flux, q
  • Water content, q
  • Tension, y

Total energy head h
z0
z1
q12
z2
19
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20
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21
Darcys Law
  • K hydraulic conductivity
  • q specific discharge
  • V q/n average velocity through the area

22
Definitions
Element of soil, V (Saturated)
Pore with water
solid
Pore with air
Element of soil, V (Unsaturated)
23
Continuity Equation
z
dy
dx
dz
y
x
24
Continuity (Cont.)
Continuity Equation
25
Surface Tension
  • Below surface, forces act equally in all
    directions
  • At surface, some forces are missing, pulls
    molecules down and exert tension on the surface
  • If interface is curved, higher pressure will
    exist on concave side
  • Pressure increase is balanced by surface tension,
    s
  • s 0.073 N/m (_at_ 20oC)

air
Interface
Net forceinward
water
No net force
26
Richards Equation
  • Recall
  • Darcys Law
  • Total head
  • So Darcy becomes
  • Richards eqn is

Soil water diffusivity
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