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J Zhejiang Univ Sci B. 2005 May;6(5):331-7.

Water and heat transport in hilly red soil of southern China: I. Experiment and analysis.

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School of Environmental Science and Natural Resources, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310029, China.


Studies on coupled transfer of soil moisture and heat have been widely carried out for decades. However, little work has been done on red soils, widespread in southern China. The simultaneous transfer of soil moisture and heat depended on soil physical properties and the climate conditions. Red soil is heavy clay and high content of free iron and aluminum oxide. The climate conditions are characterized by the clear four seasons and the serious seasonal drought. The great air temperature differences annually and diurnally result in significant fluctuation in soil temperature in top layer. The closed and evaporating columns experiments with red soil were conducted to simulate the coupled transfer of soil water and heat under the overlaying and opening fields' conditions, and to analyze the effects of soil temperature gradient on the water transfer and the effects of initial soil water contents on the transfer of soil water and heat. The closed and evaporating columns were designed similarly with about 18 degrees C temperatures differences between the top and bottom boundary, except of the upper end closed or exposed to the air, respectively. Results showed that in the closed column, water moved towards the cold end driven by temperature gradient, while the transported water decreased with the increasing initial soil water content until the initial soil water content reached to field capacity equivalent, when almost no changes for the soil moisture profile. In the evaporating column, the net transport of soil water was simultaneously driven by evaporation and temperature gradients, and the drier soil was more influenced by temperature gradient than by evaporation. In drier soil, it took a longer time for the temperature to reach equilibrium, because of more net amount of transported water.

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