Water Transport in Unsaturated Nonisothermal Salty Soil: I. Experimental Results
This paper presents observed soil moisture redistribution within unsaturated soil in response to imposed boundary temperatures. Both salinized and solute-free soil conditions are studied. Two different uniform initial soil water contents and solute concentrations are used for the salinized soil columns. Likewise, two different uniform initial soil water contents are used for solute-free soil columns. High and low boundary temperatures are similar for all of the soil columns. Thus, the experiments are designed to directly observe the impacts of thermal, soil matric, and osmotic gradients on redistribution of soil water. In all cases, appreciable amounts of water move in the direction of decreasing temperature within the soil columns. This is not a general rule of soil water movement, but a result of the uniform initial water content, the presence of solute, and the imposed boundary temperatures under salinized soil, or the initial water content and the imposed boundary temperatures under solute-free soil. For both solute-free and salinized soils, the net amount of transported water to achieve steady-state conditions is greater for low initial water content than for high initial water content. Therefore, the steady-state variations in the soil moisture content increased by decreasing the initial moisture content. When the same initial water content is used for both salinized and solute-free soils, the net water transported to achieve steady-state conditions is greater for the solute-free soil than for salinized soil. These observations indicate clearly that solute concentration affects soil water transport with unsaturated, nonisothermal conditions.
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