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Infiltration Characteristics of Cracked Clay Soils in Bottoms of Feedyard Playa Catchments

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

Citation:  Paper number  012281,  2001 ASAE Annual Meeting. (doi: 10.13031/2013.3520) @2001
Authors:   D. B. Parker, J. E. Cahoon, W. J. Rogers, M. B. Rhoades, M. C. McCullough, C. Robinson
Keywords:   infiltration, groundwater, seepage, animal waste, lagoon, storage pond

Randall clay (fine, smectitic, thermic Ustic Epiaquerts) is typical of the soils found in the bottom of playa lakes that are sometimes used as catchments for feedyard runoff in the Texas Panhandle. The objective of this research was to document the time-related sealing properties of cracked Randall Clay when subjected to a rapid infiltration event. Soil cores that were 7.6 cm in diameter by 15 cm deep were collected from two playa lakes in Randall County, Texas. The cores were air dried for one month, and cracking was documented using computer-aided tomography. The soil cores were subjected to infiltration and saturated hydraulic conductivity tests in a flexible wall permeameter. The modified Kostiakov equation was used to describe the infiltration characteristics of each soil core. Cumulative infiltration after 60 minutes varied from 0.15 to 1.60 cm, and the cores effectively sealed before water traveled more than 8 cm. These infiltration rates are lower than values reported in earlier research. Saturated hydraulic conductivities varied from 3.2 x 10 -4 to 7.2 x 10 -7 cm/min with geometric means of 4.1 x 10 -6 and 1.4 x 10 -5 cm/min at the two playas.

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