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BAEN 464

Irrigation & Drainage Engineering

SOIL WATER RELATIONS


NEED TO KNOW HOW MUCH WATER
IS IN THE SOIL

Soil-Plant
SoilPlant--Water
Relationships

AND THE AVAILABILITY OF THE


WATER TO PLANTS

CHAPTER 2 OF TEXT
&
Special Handouts

LEADS TO DEFINTIONS OF:


WATER CONTENT, AND

Soil Properties

SOIL WATER POTENTIAL (TENSION)

COMPOSITION OF AN UNSATURATED SOIL SAMPLE

SOIL WATER PROPERTIES

WATER

SOIL
PARTICLE

PORE SPACE
AIR

AIR

WATER

ORGANIC
MATTER

MINERAL

SOLID MATERIAL

SOIL PHYSICAL PROPERTIES

SOIL PHYSICAL PROPERTIES

Mass
Ma = Mass of air (zero)
Ms = Mass of solids
Mw = Mass of water

AIR

AIR

WATER

WATER

SOIL

SOIL

Volumes
Vv = Volume Voids
Va = Volume Air
Vw = Volume Water
Vs = Volume Solids
Vv = Va + Vw

Volume
Porosity (
() = Vv/Vb
Void Ratio (
() = Vb/Vs

Vb = Vv + Vs
Vb = Va + Vw + Vs

Saturation (S) = Vw/Vv; 0 S 1.0

SOIL PHYSICAL PROPERTIES

SOIL PHYSICAL PROPERTIES


AIR

AIR

WATER

WATER

SOIL

SOIL

Mass and Density

Mass and Density

Soil

Specific Gravity of Solids (p) Mineral


Clay
p = Ms/(Vs w)
Organic

p
2.65
2.70
2.60

RELATIVE SIZES OF SOIL PARTICLES

Bulk Density (b)

Apparent Specific Gravity (As)

b = Ms/(Vb);

As = b/w = Ms/(Vb w)

ONE CAN SHOW THAT = (1 As/p) PROVE THIS

SOIL TEXTURAL TRIANGLE

SAND: 0.05 - 2.0 mm

SILT:
0.002 - 0.05 mm
CLAY:
< 0.002 mm

MASS WATER CONTENT


Mass of Water
m =Mass
of Dry Soil

WET SOIL
SAMPLE

Weight of Water
Weight of Dry Soil

DRY SOIL
SAMPLE

WET WEIGHT
OF SOIL

VOLUMETRIC WATER CONTENT

WATER

v =

WET SOIL
SAMPLE

=
DRY WEIGHT
OF SOIL

Volume of Water
Bulk Volume

DRY SOIL
SAMPLE

WET WEIGHT
OF SOIL

BULK
VOLUME

WEIGHT OF
WATER

WATER

DRY WEIGHT
OF SOIL

VOLUME
OF Water

DEPTH OF WATER (d) IN A SOIL LAYER


AIR
L

d = v L

WATER
SOIL

r
Bulk Volume (Vb)
Vb = r2 L

VOLUMETRIC WATER CONTENT


v =

Water Volume (Vw)


Vw = r2 d

VOLUMETRIC WATER CONTENT

Volume of Water
Bulk Volume

v =

Volume of Water
Bulk Volume

v = Vw/(Vb)
w = Mw/(Vw)

v = (Mw/w) / (Ms/b) = m b / w

b = Ms/(Vb)

v = m b / w = m As

v = Vw/(Vb) = (Mw/w) / (Ms/b)


v = (Mw/w) / (Ms/b) = m b / w

EXAMPLE OF SOIL WATER PROPERTIES


A field soil sample prior to being disturbed has
a volume of 80 cm3. The sample weighed 120
grams. After drying at 105 C, the dry soil
weighs 100 grams. What is the water content
by weight? What is volumetric water content?
What depth
p of water must be added to increase
the volumetric water content of the top one-foot
of soil to 0.30?

EXAMPLE OF SOIL WATER PROPERTIES


Find:
m water content on a dry weight basis
v water content on a volume basis
d depth of water

Given:
Soil sample volume (Vb) = 80 cm3
Dry weight of soil sample (Ms) = 100 g
Wet weight of soil sample (Ms + Mw) = 120 g

EXAMPLE OF SOIL WATER PROPERTIES

EXAMPLE OF SOIL WATER PROPERTIES

Solution:
Solution:

m = Mw / Ms

v = Vw / Vb

Mw = 120 100 = 20 g
g.

and v = b/ w (m)

m = Mw / Ms = {20g/100g} = 0.20 g of water/g


of soil

b = Ms/Vb = {100g/80 cm3} = 1.25 g/cm3


v = b/ w (m) = 1.25/1.00 (0.20)
= 0.25 cm3 of water per cm3 of soil

EXAMPLE OF SOIL WATER PROPERTIES

GRAVITATIONAL POTENTIAL
g = DISTANCE ABOVE AN ARBITRARY ELEVATION

Solution:
Current depth of water in one foot of soil
d = v L

FLOW
FROM
HIGH TO
LOW
POTENTIAL

d = v L = 0.25 (12 in) = 3 inches of water


The depth of water in the soil when v = 0.30 is

g2 = Z2

d = v L = 0.30 (12 in) = 3.60 inches of water


Thus, the depth of water to be added is 3.6
minus 3.0, or 0.6 inches

g1 = Z1
DATUM

CAPILLARY FORCES
Radius of
Capillary r
Tube
Contact Angle

CAPILLARY FORCES
FORCE BALANCE

Radius of
Capillary
r
Tube

UPWARD FORCE ( F1)

PRESSURE = - h

F1 = (2 r) COS()

Contact Angle
PRESSURE = - h

Height
H
i ht off
h
Capillary Rise

Cohesive force between


water molecules causes
the tube to fill with water.

DOWNWARD FORCE (F2)

PRESSURE = 0

F2 = - g (

r2 )

Height of
h
Capillary Rise

F1 - F2 = 0
(2 r) COS() = g (

PRESSURE = 0
r2 )

Attraction of glass and


water causes water
molecules to adhere to the
glass.

Water in the tube is below


atmospheric pressure.

h = 2 COS() / g r
h = CONSTANT/ r

NEARLY SATURATED SOIL

CAPILLARY FORCES
SOIL PARTICLE

h =

k / radius of tube

WATER RISES HIGHER FOR


SMALL DIAMETER TUBES
LARGE RADIUS (r)

WATER IN SMALL TUBES IS


UNDER MORE TENSION
h

HOW DOES THAT RELATE


TO SOIL-WATER RELATIONS

SMALL MATRIC POTENTIAL


(i.e. little capillary action)

WATER
h

ATTRACTION OF SOIL PARTICLES FOR WATER --SURFACE TENSION OF WATER ---

Capillary pressure = pw pa = k/r

(ADHESION)
(COHESION)

RESULTS: WATER FILL PORES BY FORMING SATRUATED ZONES


AROUND THE PARTICLES. AS SOIL DRIES AND MATRIC POTENTIAL
INCREASES A CURVED WATER SURFACE DEVELOPS ON THE WATER
BETWEEN THE SOIL PARTICLES.

DEVELOPING MOISTURE RELEASE CURVES


USING A HANGING WATER COLUMN

DRY SOIL
SOIL PARTICLE

WATER

H
1

t2 > t1

SOIL

SMALL RADIUS (r)

INITIALLY: SOIL IS
SATURATED WITH A
POSITIVE HEAD CAUSING
DRAINAGE THROUGH
THE SOIL

POROUS
PLATE /
MEMBRANE

LARGE MATRIC POTENTIAL


(i.e. large capillary action)
1

t = 0

SOIL

SMALL RADIUS OF CURVATURE AS THE SOIL DRIES AND THE


WATER MIGRATES INTO THE CORNERS OF THE PORE SPACE

HANGING WATER COLUMN FOR UNSATURATED CONDITIONS

t1 = 0

1
SOIL

POROUS
PLATE /
MEMBRANE

H = 100 cm

t2 = t1
POROUS
PLATE /
MEMBRANE

HANGING WATER COLUMN FOR UNSATURATED CONDITIONS


WHEN NO FLOW

POROUS PLATE REMAINS


SATURATED AND
PREVENTS AIR FROM
ENTERING THE TUBE.
WATER FLOWS FROM THE
SOIL SO THE SAMPLE IS
UNSATURATED

t1 = 0

WHAT IS THE
MATRIC POTENTIAL
AT POINT 1?

SOIL

POROUS
PLATE /
MEMBRANE

t = g + m
t = 0

H = 100 cm

g = - 100 cm

THE SOIL WATER IS UNDER


A TENSION

m = - 100 cm

t2 = 0

WHEN FLOW STOPS THE


TENSION IN THE SOIL
EQUALS THE DIFFERENCE
IN ELEVATION BETWEEN
POINT 1 AND 2.

AT EQUILIBRIUM: FLOW
STOPS BECAUSE OF
THE CAPILLARY ACTION
OF THE SOIL. FOR THIS
CASE THE AVERAGE
MATRIC POTENTIAL IS
ZERO.

DATUM

t2 = 0

MATCHING THE

VOLUMETRIC

VOLUMETRIC
C WATER CONTENT

HANGING WATER COLUMN FOR MOISTURE RELEASE CURVES


WATER CONTENT TO THE MATRIC POTENTIA

m1 = - 100 cm
1

DETERMINE THE
VOLUMETRIC WATER
CONTENT:

SOIL

POROUS
PLATE /
MEMBRANE

H = 100 cm

WET WEIGHT = 500 g


DRY WEIGHT = 400 g
BULK VOLUME = 300 cm3

MOISTURE RELEASE CURVE


0.4

Field Capacity
0.3

0.1

v = (500-400)/300 = 0.33

Unit

Pressure
Equivalent

Water Head
Equivalent

1 Atmosphere

101.3 kPa

1034 cm H2O
34 ft H2O
76 cm Hg
29.9 in Hg

200

2000

4000 6000 104 15,000

0.5
FIELD
CAPACITY

FREE /
0.4 GRAVITATIONAL
WATER

0.34

0.3

DRAIN TUBE

PERMANENT
WILTING
POINT

AVAILABLE WATER

0.16

0.2

0.1

UNAVAILABLE WATER

100

1000

10000

105

SOIL WATER TENSION, cm

2.31 ft H2O

FIELD CAPACITY

400 600 1000

0.6

0.0
10

FIELD CAPACITY & SATURATION - RESERVOIR ANALOGY

SATURATION

VOLUMETRIC WATER CONTENT

COMMON UNITS OF PRESSURE AND HEAD AND THEIR


EQUIVALENTS

1 psi (lb/in2)

100

MOISTURE RELEASE CURVES

MEASURE OF WATER AVAILABILITY

101.3 bar
101.3 cb
14.7 psi (lb/in2)
6.69 kPa

0
50

SOIL WATER TENSION, cm of water

SOIL WATER POTENTIAL

1.013 bar

Permanent
Wilting Point

0.2

AVAILABLE WATER -- RESERVOIR ANALOGY


SATURATION

FIELD CAPACITY

PUMP
DRAIN TUBE

GRAVITATIONAL WATER

FLOW
RESERVOIR

Spillway to protect the reservoir is like the water that drains due to gravity.

FLOW

When reservoir is full it is easy to extract water, so we get large flows

UNAVAILABLE WATER -- RESERVOIR ANALOGY

AVAILABLE WATER -- RESERVOIR ANALOGY


SATURATION

FIELD CAPACITY

PUMP

FIELD CAPACITY

SATURATION

PUMP
DRAIN TUBE

DRAIN TUBE

PERMANENT
WILTING POINT
UNAVAILABLE WATER

FLOW

As water level drops it is more difficult to extract water, so flow is smaller

No matter what we do there is some water that we can not extract.

MOISTURE RELEASE CURVES

SATURATION

FIELD CAPACITY

PUMP
DRAIN TUBE

GRAVITATIONAL WATER

AVAILABLE WATER
PERMANENT WILTING
POINT
UNAVAILABLE WATER

VOLUMETRIC W
WATER CONTENT

WATER STATUS -- RESERVOIR ANALOGY


0.6

0.53

0.5
0.4

SATURATION
FIELD
CAPACITY

0.42
0.36

PERMANENT
WILTING
POINT

0.34

0.3

0.23
0.2

0.16

0.15

0.10

0.1
0.0

0.06
10

100

1000

10000

105

SOIL WATER TENSION, cm

AVAILABLE WATER & SOIL WATER RESERVOIR

Table 2.3 Example values of soil water characteristics for various soil
textures.

Soil Texture

The water held between field capacity and


permanent wilting point is called the available
water or the available water capacity (AWC) and is
sometimes called the available water holding
capacity.
it The
Th AWC is
i calculated
l l t d by:
b
AWC = (fc - pwp)
AWC is primarily a function of soil texture.

TEXT
fc

wp

AWC

AWC

in/in or
m/m

in/in or
m/m

in/in or
m/m

in/ft

Coarse Sand

0.10

0.05

0.05

0.60

Sand

0.15

0.07

0.08

0.96

Loamy Sand

0.18

0.07

0.11

1.32

Sandy Loam

0.20

0.08

0.12

1.44

Loam

0.25

0.10

0.15

1.80

Silt Loam

0.30

0.12

0.18

2.16

Silty Clay Loam

0.38

0.22

0.16

1.92

Clay Loam

0.40

0.25

0.15

1.80

Silty Clay

0.40

0.27

0.13

1.56

Clay

0.40

0.28

0.12

1.44

These are examples only. Considerable variation exits from these values
within each soil texture.

VARIATION IN SOIL WATER BY SOIL TEXTURE

Soil Types
W AT ER IN O NE F O O T O F SO IL , in ch es

GRAVITATIONAL WATER
AVAILABLE -- NO STRESS
AVAILABLE -- SOME STRESS
UNAVAILABLE

7
6

6.1
5.8

5.2

4.4
3.8

1.8

2.0
2.6

2.1

1.8

1.0

1.1

0
Sand

Loam

Silty Clay Loam

The capacity of the available soil water


reservoir (TAW), Depends on both the AWC and
the depth that the plant roots have penetrated.
This relationship is given by:
TAW = (AWC) (Rd)
where

TAW = the total available water


capacity in the plant root zone, and
Rd = depth of the plant root zone.

Soil Types

Plants can remove only a portion of the available


soil water reservoir (TAW) before growth and
ultimately yield are affected. This portion is
termed readily available water (RAW), and for
most crops it ranges between 40 and 65 percent
of the available water in the crop root zone.
RAW = (AWC) (MAD)
where

MAD is the management allowed


deficiency (decimal) which can be
removed.

EXAMPLE PROBLEM

Cotton crop with root zone of 3 feet.

FIND: READILY AVAILABLE WATER


(RAW)

AVAILABLE WATER & SOIL WATER RESERVOIR

From TABLE 14.1, AWC = 1.4 inches/foot

Define depleted and remaining water as


fraction of available water depleted or
fraction of available water remaining.

Rd = 3 feet

Fraction of available water depleted = fd

TAW = (AWC) (Rd)

TAW = 1.4 (3 feet) = 4.2 inches


**************************************************
RAW = (AWC) (MAD)
From TABLE 14.2, MAD = 0.6

fd = ((
fc - v) / ((
fc - wp)

((9))

Fraction of available water remaining = fr

fr = (
(v - wp) / (
(fc - wp)
Also fr = 1 - fd

(10)

(10A)

RAW = 4.2 (0.6) = 2.5 inches

AVAILABLE WATER & SOIL WATER RESERVOIR


It is very useful in irrigation management
to know the depth of water required to fill a
layer of soil to field capacity. This depth is
equal to SWD.

SWD =

fd (AWC) L

(11)

by through a bit of algebra you will


find the equivalent to:

SWD = (
(fc - v) L

(12)

EXAMPLE OF SOIL WATER PROPERTIES


A SAMPLE OF A SILT LOAM SOIL HAS A
VOLUMETRIC WATER CONTENT OF 0.26.
CALCULATE fd, fr, AWC, AND SWD. ASSUME
THE SOIL IS 36 INCHES DEEP.
Gi
Given:

v
fc
wp

= 0.26
0 26
= 0.34
= 0.16

Find: fd
fr
AWC Available Water Holding Capacity
SWD Depth of Soil Water Depleted

EXAMPLE OF SOIL WATER PROPERTIES


Solution:

fd = (
(fc - v) / (
(fc - wp)

Equation 10

= (0.34 0.26) / (0.34 0.16) = 0.44

fr = 1 fd

Equation 10A

= 1.0 0.44 = 0.56

AWC = (fc - wp) = 0.34 0.16 = 0.18 in/in = 2.16 in/ft


SWD =

fd (AWC) L

Equation 11

= 0.44 (0.18 in/in) 36 in = 2.85 in

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