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SOIL TEMPERATURE AND FALL FREEZE-THAW EFFECTS ON INFILTRATION AND SOIL MOISTURE MOVEMENT

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

Citation:   No Citation available.
Authors:   F C Kahimba, R Sri Ranjan
Keywords:   infiltration, soil moisture, soil freezing, TDR mini-probes, soil temperature

The quantity of spring snowmelt infiltration and runoff depends on the antecedent soil moisture conditions at the time of soil freezing. Determining the soil moisture status at any particular time during the freezing process requires an understanding of vertical distribution of liquid and frozen water content within the soil profile. This study investigated the effects of soil freezing and thawing during the fall, on early snowmelt infiltration and water movement. Time domain reflectometry with 35-mm mini-probes was used to determine the liquid water content. Total moisture content was determined using the neutron scattering method. The difference between the two measurements allowed the partitioning of soil water into liquid and frozen water content. Comparison between the two methods was made, and an equation was derived to account for the effect of change in soil temperature on the accuracy of TDR measurements. Results showed that as the freezing front progressed downwards, liquid water migrated towards the frozen soil layer from below. A combination of time domain reflectometry and neutron scattering methods could be used to quantify the frozen and unfrozen soil water content within the soil profile as the freezing progress with time.

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