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Hydro gel Polymer effects on available water capacity and percolation of sandy soils at Al-Hassa, Saudi Arabia

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

Citation:   No Citation available.
Authors:   Faisal I Zeineldin, Yousef Y Aldakheel
Keywords:   Polymer, Manure, Sandy soils, Silty clay ,Water holding capacity, Percolation

Al-Hassa agricultural soils are coarse textured and calcareous sandy soils, characterized by having low water holding capacity and high percolation to irrigation water. That resulted in excessive drainage water, more than the designed amount, in the drainage main canals of Al-Hassa irrigation project and led excess irrigation water consumption. To improve water holding capacity and reduce percolation of Al-Hassa sandy soils, the use of mixture of pre-hydrated highly crossed-polyacrylamide potassium based polymer, manure and silt clay loam soil (PPMC), was thoroughly investigated in this study. First, for water holding capacity tests, sand, PPMC amended sand and silty clay loam soils were assessed against varied soil water tensions (i.e., 0.0, 0.03, 0.65, 0.1, 0.15 and 1.2 MPa). Second, laboratory experiments were run to measure saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) to view percolation of three soils at Al-Hassa oasis, when each soil was treated with three level of the polymer additions of the PPMC mixture (0, 0.11 and 0.4%, w/w of dry soil) and three level of irrigation water salinities (0, 2.0 and 4.2 mS/cm). Soils were a sand soil from a lime field (F1) at King Faisal University agricultural research station and two sandy loam soils from palm fields (F2 and F3) at Al-Hassa irrigation project. At 0.0 MPa volumetric water content of the PPMC (0.4% polymer) amended sand soil exceeded that of the silty clay loams soil by 7.6% and that of untreated sand soil by 21.5%. Although the addition of 0.4% polymer PPMC mixture changed the available water of sand soil of F1 from 2.8 to 6.9 cm/m, its percolation rate tripled when distilled water was used. The percolation rate of the polymer amended sand soil increased with increasing salinity irrigation water.

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