Articles | Volume 1, issue 4
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 1, 777–786, 1997
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-1-777-1997
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 1, 777–786, 1997
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-1-777-1997

  31 Dec 1997

31 Dec 1997

Recurring fingered flow pathways in a water repellent sandy field soil

C. J. Ritsema1, L. W. Dekker1, E. G. M. van den Elsen1, K. Oostindiel1, T. S. Steenhuis2, and J. L. Nieber3 C. J. Ritsema et al.
  • 1DLO Winand Staring Centre for Integrated Land, Soil and Water Research, Department of Soil Physical Transport Phenomena, P.O. Box 125, 6700 AC, Wageningen, Netherlands
  • 2Cornell University, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Riley-Robb Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853-5701, USA
  • 3University of Minnesota, Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, 1390 Eckles Ave., St.Paul, MN 55108, USA

Abstract. Field evidence of finger formation and reformation during Successive rain events over an eight months' observation period from June 1994 until January 1995 is presented. Fingered flow pathways were monitored in a no-tilled, grass-covered water repellent sandy field soil using an automated, stand-alone TDR device. Within a 2 m long and 0.7 m deep transect, 98 three-wire probes were installed horizontally at depths of 4, 12, 20, 30, 40, 55, and 70 cm. The horizontal distance between two adjacent probes was IS cm. Finger formation occurred during distinct rainy periods and was most pronounced under heavy rainfall with initially wet topsoil conditions. The percentage of water infiltrated and transported preferentially through the fingers to the deep subsoil varied between 0 and 80%, depending on the wetting history of the soil and the rainfall characteristics.

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