J. Bio. Env. Sci.5(2), 381-386, August 2014
Soil water infiltration and its characteristics are important in water management both in agriculture and hydrology. Water repellency (WR) of soil, a phenomenon that often occurs in forest soils, reduces infiltration greatly and enhances soil degradation by various ways. In this study two sandy loam (SL) and clay loam (CL) soils were sampled from Kaleybar forest area, East Azarbaijan province, IRAN. They were artificially hydrophobized into two different degrees of WR by using stearic acid. Water drop penetration time test (WDPT) was applied to assess the severity of the repellency. Effects of the water repellent soil layer and its placement on cumulative infiltration and infiltration rate were investigated. Results indicated that in the both soils, the cumulative and average infiltration rates at the beginning of the experiment and the average steady state infiltration rate decreased with increasing repellency. The average value of the initial infiltration rate decreased from 1.37 (cm min-1) to 1.21 (cm min-1) in the sandy loam soil, and from 1.50 (cm min-1) to 0.745 (cm min-1) in the clay loam soil with increasing the severity of the repellency from degree 0 to 1. In the wettable soil column with upper water repellent layer the average value of initial infiltration rate decreased to 1.23 (cm min-1) in SLsoil and to 0.762 (cm min-1)in the CL soil, respectively. The steady state infiltration rate reduced from 0.037 (cm min-1) to 0.024 (cm min-1) in the SL and from 0.020 (cm min-1) to 0.016 (cm min-1) in the CL soil with increasing WR. The steady state infiltration rate in WR soil column and soils with upper and lower WR layers were almost the same.
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