Infiltration of water and its effects on soil erosion : a computational analysis pertaining to central Tunisia Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/s4655k321

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  • The purpose of this study was to use computer analysis of soil and rainfall data to predict the possible occurrence of soil erosion in Central Tunisia. Analysis was done with the program OR-NATURE (M.Ungs et al, 1985) . Central Tunisia was subdivided into northern, central, and southern subzones. Data about soil texture, hydraulic conductivity, water potential, soil water characteristic curves, and soil depths were obtained for soils in Central Tunisia. Most of this information was obtained from published reports. Information about rainfall rates and evaporative demand were estimated on the basis of general knowledge about the climate and weather in the target area. Infiltration rates during fall and spring seasons were calculated using OR-NATURE and simulation for periods of seven consecutive days were made to show infiltration rates associated with a succession of rainfall and drying conditions. Results are in the form of hourly values of surface fluxes and of soil water content as a function of depth. Infiltration rates were equal to application rates when the soil profile was dry. Under these conditions the potential gradient, which is the main driving force for water transport, is high. As the soil water content increases, the potential gradient decreases and water movement is driven by gravity. Runoff was assumed to occur when the rate of rainfall exceeded the rate of infiltration. Evaporation rates were equal to the atmospheric evaporative demand when the soil surface was wet but less than the potential surface flux (atmospheric demand) when the upper soil layers dried sufficiently so that hydraulic conductivity was low and upward fluxes were restricted.
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