Document type: DU ETD
Collection: Geology Theses  
Title The Effect of Irrigation on Available Void Capacity of Disturbed Soils in Semiarid Regions
Author(s) Munson, Brian E.
School/Department Department of Geography
Institution University of Denver
Degree Type Master's
Degree Name M.A.
Type of Resource text
Degree Date 1978 January
Digital Origin reformatted digital
Rights Statement All Rights Reserved
Reason for Restrictions No restrictions
Type of Restriction No restrictions
Keyword(s) Geography
Genre Dissertations, Academic
Abstract Precipitation characteristics in semiarid regions pose special problems for strip mine rehabilitation. Low amounts of precipitation account for a sparse vegetal cover while infrequent storms of high intensity can produce high erosion rates. Strip mining operations can compound moisture problems by compaction soils during the regrading process. There is a need for a mechanism to improve the ability of disturbed soils to take on and store water to facilitate revegetation efforts. Through alternate wetting and drying, water infiltrates into soils, adsorbs to soil particles as molecular layers, and can separate the distance between closely spaced soil particles. When the soil dries, some of the created void remains. It was found that this method increased the quantity of void for a 10 to 20 centimeter depth in a silty clay loam. Further, the greatest increase occurred for only one 3.8 liter irrigation with subsequent application producing little or no change. The change in void created by the methodology in a sandy loam soil was negligible. Results suggest that the increase in void is probably due to a combination of shrink swell potential of the soils, and force exerted by the water being adsorbed. Further research suggestions are: 1) the contribution of shrink swell due to differing clay content to void increase; 2) the minimum amount of irrigation required to maximize void increase; and 3) the effect of void increase on infiltration capacity.
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