EGU General Assembly 2023
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the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Study of the effect of compaction on the hydrodynamic properties of a loamy sand soil for precision agriculture 

Yasmin Mbarki and Silvio José Gumiere
Yasmin Mbarki and Silvio José Gumiere
  • 975000

Compaction of agricultural soil negatively affects its hydraulic proprieties, leading to water erosion and other negative effects on the quality of the environment. This study focused on the effect of compaction on soil hydrodynamic properties under unsaturated and saturated conditions using the Hydraulic Property Analyzer (HYPROP) system. We studied the impact of five levels of compaction among loam sand soils collected in a potato crop field in northern Québec, Canada. Soil samples were collected, and the soil bulk densities of the artificially compacted samples were developed by increasing the bulk density by 0% (C0), 30% (C30), 40% (C40), 50% (C50), and 70% (C70). First, the saturated hydraulic conductivity of each column was measured using the constant-head method. Soil water retention curve (SWRC) dry-end data and unsaturated hydraulic conductivities were obtained via the implementation and evaluation of the HYPROP evaporation measurement system and WP4-T Dew Point PotentioMeter equipment (METER group, Munich, Germany). Second, the soil microporosity was imaged and quantified using the micro-CT-measured pore-size distribution to visualize and quantify soil pore structures. The imaged soil microporosity was related to the saturated hydraulic conductivity, air permeability, porosity and tortuosity measured of the same samples.  Our results supported the application of the Peters–Durner–Iden (PDI) variant of the bimodal unconstrained van Genuchten model (VGm-b-PDI) for complete SWRC estimation based on the root mean square error (RMSE). The unsaturated hydraulic conductivity matched the PDI variant of the unconstrained van-Genuchten model (VGm-PDI) well. Finally, the preliminary results indicated that soil compaction could strongly influence the hydraulic properties of soil in different ways. The saturated conductivity decreased with increasing soil compaction, and the unsaturated hydraulic conductivity changed very rapidly with the ratio of water to soil. Overall, the HYPROP methodology performed extremely well in terms of the hydraulic behavior of compacted soils.

How to cite: Mbarki, Y. and Gumiere, S. J.: Study of the effect of compaction on the hydrodynamic properties of a loamy sand soil for precision agriculture , EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-1583,, 2023.