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Measuring the Hydraulic Properties of Soil

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researcher Dr. Dan Reynolds is on the forefront of developing methods for measuring the hydraulic properties of soil. Hydraulic properties determine the ability of soil to store and transmit water and air. This, in turn, affects virtually all aspects of field-crop production, from tillage and irrigation scheduling to crop yield and quality. Soil hydraulic properties are also essential inputs for simulation models used to predict the impacts of climate change.

For example, Dr. Reynolds co-developed several lab techniques and field equipment that measure the hydraulic properties of soil samples from field plots. He also developed equipment and methodologies for direct measurement of soil hydraulic properties in the field, including well and borehole permeameters and a pressure infiltrometers.

By constantly improving and fine-tuning our measurement techniques, scientists are able to get a more precise picture of these soil properties and develop new techniques to protect and enhance this valuable resource.

For more information:

Reynolds, W.D. (2015). "A generalized variable-head borehole permeameter analysis for saturated, unsaturated, rigid or deformable porous media," Engineering Geology, 185, pp. 10-19. doi: 10.1016/j.enggeo.2014.11.019

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