A methodological framework to determine optimum durations for the construction of soil water characteristic curves using centrifugation

Sara E. Vero*, Mark G. Healy, Tiernan Henry, Rachel E. Creamer, Tristan G. Ibrahim, Patrick J. Forrestal, Karl G. Richards, Owen Fenton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

During laboratory assessment of the soil water characteristic curve (SWCC), determining equilibrium at various pressures is challenging. This study establishes a methodological framework to identify appropriate experimental duration at each pressure step for the construction of SWCCs via centrifugation. Three common temporal approaches to equilibrium – 24-, 48- and 72-h – are examined, for a grassland and arable soil. The framework highlights the differences in equilibrium duration between the two soils. For both soils, the 24-h treatment significantly overestimated saturation. For the arable site, no significant difference was observed between the 48- and 72-h treatments. Hence, a 48-h treatment was sufficient to determine ‘effective equilibrium’. For the grassland site, the 48- and 72-h treatments differed significantly. This highlights that a more prolonged duration is necessary for some soils to conclusively determine that effective equilibrium has been reached. This framework can be applied to other soils to determine the optimum centrifuge durations for SWCC construction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-99
JournalIrish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research
Volume55
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Centrifuge
  • Equilibrium
  • Soil water characteristic curve

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