Document type: DU ETD
Collection: Geology Theses  
Title Approximating IN-SITU Hydrologic Properties of Soils From Measurements of Mass Per Unit Volume of Saturated Soil Samples
Author(s) Keffelew, Berhanamaskal
School/Department Department of Geography
Institution University of Denver
Degree Type Master's
Degree Name M.A.
Type of Resource text
Degree Date 1986 April
Digital Origin reformatted digital
Rights Statement All Rights Reserved
Reason for Restrictions No restrictions
Type of Restriction No restrictions
Keyword(s) Geography
Abstract The relationship between water in soil and associated vegetation,has long been of great concern. Much has been done to define methods to determine factors influencing permeability and the proportion of water in the soil that is actually available for plant growth. Permeability is influenced by factors that affect porosity;while available moisture is characteristically determined from the difference in quantities of water retained between field capacity and the wilting point of vegetation. Techniques have been developed to measure porosity, the ability of soils to retain water against the force of gravity at field capacity, and the ability of plants to extract water from the soil to the wilting point. The major problem with most of these techniques is that the required equipment and laboratory facilities are too expensive to be used extensively in developing nations of the Third World, like Ethopia. The objective of this research project is to evaluate a simple method that could be used extensively to define factors that control soil permeability and availability of water from soils. Applicable methods were described by Wilcox (1951) and Richards and others (1954). Wilcox (1951) defined a technique for determining the water content of soils at saturation from measurements of the mass per unit volume of saturated soil samples. Richards and others (1954), working at the U.S. Salinity Laboratory, observed that there were relationships between water content of soil at saturation and the water content at either field capacity or the wilting point. Use of similar but more refined, relationships defined by Miller and Branson(in review), permits approximation of water content at various levels of retention froce for soils with similar saturation capacities.It will also facilitate computation of void space available for drainage. Since the dry weight of the soil sample that has been saturated can also be approximated, it is possible to compute insitu water content and volume weight. Volume weight, in turn, can be used to determine the capacity of voids for water. To accomplish this, soil samples must be obtained in a manner that permits measurement of differences in volume weight with increasing depth.
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