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Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo

On-line version ISSN 1806-9657


SILANS, Alain Passerat de; SILVA, Fernando Moreira da  and  BARBOSA, Francisco de Assis dos Reis. In Loco determination of the thermal diffusivity in a soil of the Caatinga region, Paraiba. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2006, vol.30, n.1, pp.41-48. ISSN 1806-9657.

An in-depth experimental study into heat and water transference in the soil - vegetation - atmosphere complex was carried out in a semi-arid region dominated by Caatinga (Xerophytic) vegetation in the state of Paraiba, Brazil. Results showed that the thermodynamic soil behaviour plays a fundamental role in soil evaporation and sensitive heat fluxes. In this paper we show how the thermal difusivity of the soil was calculated in situ by three different methods with different hypotheses. The harmonic method (HM) was not suitable for the studied soil. The Corrected Laplace Transform Method (CLTM) proved adequate only for the upper 0-5 cm soil layer. The points were greatly dispersed when using the NHS method, which considers vertical variability of the soil thermal diffusivity yields, although the results were similar to those of the CLTM method in the upper soil layer and coherent in the other layers. Soil moisture was measured with an adequately calibrated TDR probe at a depth of about 5 cm. The thermal diffusivity could thus be related to the volumetric moisture of the soil under study. The very low values of thermal diffusivity represent an important component of the local climate.

Keywords : semi-arid region; soil temperature; harmonic method; Laplace method; Nassar and Horton method.

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