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Ciência Rural

Print version ISSN 0103-8478On-line version ISSN 1678-4596


KLEIN, Vilson Antonio  and  LIBARDI, Paulo Leonel. Unsaturated soil hydraulic conductivity of un oxisol, under different use and management systems. Cienc. Rural [online]. 2002, vol.32, n.6, pp.945-953. ISSN 0103-8478.

The objective of this paper was to assess the changes of the soil hydraulic conductivity of an oxisol (Typic Acorthox) of the county of Guaira (SP), Brazil (20 o27’S, 48 o18’W, 518m) by comparing the managements of no-tillage-non-irrigated and no-tillage-irrigated with the natural condition (forestry). Soil hydraulic conductivity K as a function of soil water content q was determined in the field by means of the instantaneous profile method, by assessing the water redistribution in the soil profile, by using tensiometers installed at 0.10m soil depth intervals from 0.10m to 1.00m. The K(q ) function was also determined in the laboratory, using undisturbed soil samples of 1.15m length and 0.20m diameter; these samples or soil monoliths from the three treatments, were instrumented with tensiometers and submitted to several steady descendent water fluxes in the laboratory in order to determine the K(q ) functions by means of the Darcy-Buckingham equation. Results have shown that the soil structure was affected by managements till the soil depth of 0.40m, more intensively in the soil under no-tillage-irrigated, leading to a decrease in the unsaturated soil hydraulic conductivity. The unsaturated soil water movement was also affected by the increase of the soil bulk density, due to the change on the soil pore diameter distribution. With the adopted methodology (field and soil monolith), it could be perceived that, under the natural condition, the studied soil presented two distinct phases with relation to soil water conduction, one near the saturation and other from the soil water content at tensions equal and higher than 40kPa; this fact led to the conclusion that the K(q ) equations cannot be extrapolated to soil water content ranges out of those they were measured.

Keywords : soil managament; soil water dynamics ; no tillage.

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