Click on “Download PDF” for the PDF version or on the title for the HTML version.


If you are not an ASABE member or if your employer has not arranged for access to the full-text, Click here for options.

The Effect of Frozen Soil Depth on Winter Infiltration Hydrology in the Pataha Creek Watershed

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Paper number  032160,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.14954) @2003
Authors:   Chen, Shulin, Alvi, M. Khalid
Keywords:   Winter hydrology, Infiltration, Frozen soil, Frost depth, Pataha watershed

The majority of the precipitation in the Pataha Creek watershed located in southeastern Washington occurs during winter in the form of rain and snow. The precipitation intensity typically is much lower than the soils infiltration capacity, but frozen soil acts as a barrier reducing the infiltration capacity significantly during the winter season causing surface runoff and soil erosion. This paper presents the findings from the studied watershed for the three winter seasons of 2000-2003. Infiltration plots with 1 m2 surface area were installed in the studied watershed during the period. Frost tubes were installed adjacent to these plots to monitor the frozen soil depth. The results showed clearly that plot runoff occurred only under frozen conditions and it increased with an increase in frozen depth. No till fields showed less frozen depth as compared to conventional tillage and hence less runoff. For the winter season of 2002-2003, soil moisture sensors and thermocouples were installed up to 30 cm in depth in no-till and conventional fields to run and verify the SHAW model. No runoff was found in the infiltration plots installed for this period due to a mild winter season characterized by low precipitation and shallow frozen soil depth. The SHAW model results showed a good match with observed data. The research findings showed that infiltration rate decreases with increase in frozen soil depth, and no-till showed higher infiltration rate due to less frozen soil depth as compared to conventional tillage.

(Download PDF)    (Export to EndNotes)