Nondestructive determination of hydrogeometrical characteristics of soil macropores

D. Wang, J. M. Norman, B. Lowery, K. McSweeney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The rate of water flowing into ant and earthworm burrows was measured with a macropore infiltrometer and burrow diameter, volume, and depth estimated from the measured flow rate and a water flow model. To evaluate the estimated burrow parameters, castings of the ant and earthworm burrows were made with a dental plaster. The burrows had similar diameters but different volumes and depths: larger volumes but lesser depth in ant than earthworm burrows. Saturated soil matrix hydraulic conductivity (Ks) estimated from the infiltrometer measurement of earthworm burrows were comparable to matrix Ks of the bulk silt loam. The matrix Ks values estimated for ant burrows were about eight times smaller than matrix Ks of the bulk sandy soil. This is probably caused by infilling of burrow walls by ants with fine materials. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)294-303
Number of pages10
JournalSoil Science Society of America Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science

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