The structural porosity in soil hydraulic functions – a review

https://doi.org/10.17221/1190-SWRCitation:Kutílek M., Jendele L. (2008): The structural porosity in soil hydraulic functions – a review. Soil & Water Res., 3: S7-S20.
download PDF
Products of biological processes are the dominant factor of soil structure formation in A horizons, while in B horizons their role is less expressed. Soil structure influences dominantly the structural domain of the pore system in bimodal soils thus affecting soil hydraulic functions. The form of soil hydraulic functions depends upon the pore size distribution and generally upon configuration of the soil pore system. We used the functions derived for the lognormal pore size distribution and modified them to bi-modal soils. The derived equations were tested by experimental data of catalogued soils. The procedure leads to the separation of two mutually different domains of structural and matrix pores. The value of the pressure head (potential) separating the two domains is not constant and varies in a broad range. For each domain we obtained its water retention function and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity function. The separation of hydraulic functions for the two domains is a key problem in the solution of preferential flow and in controlling lateral flow between the structural and matrix domains. Water retention function is fully physically based while the conductivity function still keeps fitting parameters, too. Their simple relationship to tortuosity and pores connectivity was not confirmed. Since they differ substantially for matrix and structural domains, we suppose that there exists a great difference in configuration of porous systems in structural and matrix domains. The use of uniform fitting conductivity parameters for the whole range of pores is not justifiable.
download PDF

© 2020 Czech Academy of Agricultural Sciences