The Influence of Macropores on the Transport of Dissolved and Suspended Matter Through Soil

  • R. E. White
Part of the Advances in Soil Science book series (SOIL, volume 3)


This article is concerned with the predominantly vertical movement of water through soils that to some degree have a network of large channels (macropores) and the consequences of this movement for the convective transport of solutes and suspended matter. Beven and Germann (1982) have reviewed the experimental evidence indicating that infiltration and redistribution of water in soils containing macropores are not adequately described by theories that treat the soil as a homogeneous medium conforming to Darcian principles of water flow. Such theories, developed for the mixing of solutions in hallow tubes (Taylor, 1953) and porous rock strata (Brigham et al., 1961), have been applied to miscible displacement experiments with columns of sand, resins, glass beads, or finely sieved and repacked soil. The underlying assumptions are that an unreactive solute moves through the medium at the same velocity as the water and all the analysis and interpretation of these experiments have been reviewed several times (Gardner, 1965; Biggar and Nielsen, 1967; Biggar and Nielsen, 1980; Wagenet, 1983) and will not be repeated here.


Breakthrough Curve Undisturbed Soil Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity Nitrate Leaching Hydrodynamic Dispersion 
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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. E. White
    • 1
  1. 1.Soil Science Laboratory, Department of Agricultural ScienceUniversity of OxfordEngland

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