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THE EFFECT OF DENSITY ON WATER RETENTION PROPERTIES OF FIELD SOILS

M. Reeve, P. Smith, J. Thomasson
Published 1973 · Environmental Science

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Summary The bulk density, available water (Aν), air capacity (Cα), and retained water capacity (θν) were determined for 158 A, B, and C horizons of field soils. Clay (< 2 μm) and silt (2=60 μm) were also determined. Statistical analysis of the results demonstrated that bulk density exerts a profound influence on Aν, Cα, and θν, but the effect varies between texture groups and horizons. Significant negative correlations were obtained between bulk density and Cα for most texture and horizon groups. In B and C horizons Aν and θν also decrease with increasing density, whereas in A horizons Aν and θν tend to increase with bulk density except in silty soils. Within a limited range it is feasible to control these parameters by using field techniques to achieve optimum bulk density for particular soils.
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