Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1016/j.geoderma.2018.07.015
Title (Primary) Structure and hydraulic properties in soils under long-term irrigation with treated wastewater
Author Leuther, F.; Schlüter, S.; Wallach, R.; Vogel, H.-J.
Source Titel Geoderma
Year 2019
Department BOSYS
Volume 333
Page From 90
Page To 98
Language englisch
Keywords Soil structure; Treated wastewater irrigation; Clay dispersion; Unsaturated hydraulic conductivity; Soil water retention; X-ray microtomography

Secondary treated wastewater, a commonly used water resource in agriculture in (semi-)arid areas, often contains salts, sodium, and organic matter which may affect soil structure and hydraulic properties. The main objective of this study was to jointly analyse the effects of long-term irrigation with treated wastewater on physicochemical soil characteristics, soil structure, and soil water dynamics in undisturbed soils. X-ray microtomography was used to determine changes in macro-porosity (> 19 μm), pore size distribution, and pore connectivity of a sandy clay loam and a loamy sand. Differences in the pore network among soils irrigated with treated wastewater, fresh water that replaced treated wastewater, and non-irrigated control plots could be explained by changes in textural composition, soil physicochemical parameters, and hydraulic properties. In this study we showed that irrigation led to the development of a connected macro-pore network, independent of the studied water quality. The leaching of silt and clay particles in the sandy soil due to treated wastewater irrigation resulted in an increase of pores < 130 μm. While this change in texture reduced water retention, the unsaturated hydraulic conductivity was diminished by physicochemical alteration, i.e. induced water repellency and clay mineral swelling. Overall, the fine textured sandy clay loam was much more resistant to soil alteration by treated wastewater irrigation than the loamy sand.

Persistent UFZ Identifier
Leuther, F., Schlüter, S., Wallach, R., Vogel, H.-J. (2019):
Structure and hydraulic properties in soils under long-term irrigation with treated wastewater
Geoderma 333 , 90 - 98 10.1016/j.geoderma.2018.07.015