Physical and hydraulic properties of inorganic amendments and modeling their effects on water movement in sand-based root zones
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The objective of this study was to evaluate the physical and hydraulic properties of selected inorganic amendments and their mixtures with sand (85:15% v/v), and model how they affect the water movement in sand-based root zones of sports fields. The amendments are composed of: calcined diatomaceous earth materials (Axis and Isolite); zeolites (Clinolite and Ecolite); and calcined clays (Moltan Plus, Profile, and Pro’s Choice). The bulk density, particle density, porosity, particle-size distribution, saturated hydraulic conductivity, water retention and available water-holding capacity were analyzed. A numerical model was applied to simulate soil water movement for a scenario with and without amendment incorporation. The results showed that amendments significantly (P < 0.05) improved the physical and hydraulic properties of root zone. Modeling results revealed reduced surface dryness, higher volumetric water content and storage and higher initial root water uptake rate for the root zones with amendments. These results suggest there are multiple benefits of amended root zones in terms of improvement of the physical and hydraulic properties of sand-based root zones.