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The Preferential Flow SyndromE -- A Buzzword or a Scientific Problem

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

Citation:  Pp. 21-24 in Preferential Flow, Water Movement and Chemical Transport in the Environment, Proc. 2nd Int. Symp. (3-5 January 2001, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA), eds. D. D. Bosch and K. W. King. St. Joseph, Michigan: ASAE  701P0006.(doi:10.13031/2013.2096)
Authors:   H. Flühler, N. Ursino, M. Bundt, U. Zimmermann, and C. Stamm
Keywords:   Sub-scale mixing, local dispersion, solute concentration measurements, characteristic lengths of preferential flow paths

The export of surface-applied compounds or of elements residing in the solution of the soil matrix to surface and groundwater is, in most cases, a problem with a spatial scale in the order of hectares or more. Preferential flow, on the other hand, is often analyzed on scales of small field plots, soil monoliths or smaller. Reactive compounds are partly bypassing the retention compartment of the soil matrix through sub-scale pathways that are undetectable with currently used sampling techniques. The purpose of this is to bridge the scale of preferential flow processes with that of the preferential flow effects. Ultimately, this is a problem of the detection devices used for capturing the decisive soil factors and their implementation into up-scaled models.

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