Irrigation Science

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 65–77 | Cite as

Physical and hydraulic properties of inorganic amendments and modeling their effects on water movement in sand-based root zones

  • Leonard J. M. Githinji
  • Jacob H. Dane
  • Robert H. Walker
Original Paper


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.



The authors would like to thanks the Department of Agronomy and Soils, Auburn University, for the financial support of this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonard J. M. Githinji
    • 1
  • Jacob H. Dane
    • 2
  • Robert H. Walker
    • 2
  1. 1.Environmental and Natural Resource, Department of Agricultural and Environmental SciencesTuskegee UniversityTuskegeeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Agronomy and SoilsAuburn UniversityAuburnUSA

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