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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 56 No. 3, p. 902-907
     
    Received: Apr 26, 1991
    Published: May, 1992


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doi:10.2136/sssaj1992.03615995005600030037x

Polymers' Effects on Infiltration and Soil Erosion during Consecutive Simulated Sprinkler Irrigations

  1. G. J. Levy ,
  2. J. Levin,
  3. M. Gal,
  4. M. Ben-Hur and
  5. I. Shainberg
  1. Institute of Soils and Water, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan, Israel

Abstract

Abstract

Impact energy of water drops from overhead sprinkler irrigation can cause seal formation, and an increase in runoff and in soil erosion. The effects of low concentrations (5, 10, and 20 g m−3) of two polymers, an anionic polyacrylamide (PAM) and a cationic polysaccharide (PSD), on soil permeability and erosion from a grumusol (Typic Chromoxerert) and a loess (Typic Haploxeralf), were studied during five consecutive irrigations of 60 mm each. The polymers were added to the irrigation water during the first three consecutive irrigations, and thereafter the soils were subjected to two additional irrigations of water only. During the first three irrigations, the final infiltration rates (FIR) of the soils were significantly higher than those of the untreated samples (control). In the subsequent two irrigations with water only, the FIR values of the treated samples decreased to values similar to those of the control. The low residual effect of the polymers was explained by erosion of the thin treated layer and an insufficient amount of the polymers. A lower concentration of PAM (10 g m−3) was needed for optimal effect on the FIR and cumulative infiltration, compared with PSD (20 g m−3). For the optimal treatments, infiltration parameters were generally higher in the PAM- than in the PSD-treated soils. Soil losses in all the PAM treatments were significantly lower than those in the PSD treatments. Both polymers stabilized soil aggregates, but PAM also cemented aggregates together and increased their resistance to erosion.

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