A Study on the Water Retention Characteristics of Soils and their Improvements

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A Study on the Water Retention Characteristics of Soils and their Improvements

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Title: A Study on the Water Retention Characteristics of Soils and their Improvements
Author: Mariamma, Joseph; Dr.Babu T, Jose
Abstract: Soil moisture plays a cardinal role in sustaining eclological balance and agricultural development – virtually the very existence of life on earth. Because of the growing shortage of water resources, we have to use the available water most efficiently by proper management. Better utilization of rainfall or irrigation management depends largely on the water retention characteristics of the soil.Soil water retention is essential to life and it provides an ongoing supply of water to plants between periods of irrigation so as to allow their continued growth and survival.It is essential to maintain readily available water in the soil if crops are to sustain satisfactory growth. The plant growth may be retarded if the soil moisture is either deficient or excessive. The optimum moisture content is that moisture which leads to optimum growth of plant. When watering is done, the amount of water supplied should be such that the water content is equal to the field capacity that is the water remained in the saturated soil after gravitational drainage. Water will gradually be utilized consumptively by plants after the water application, and the soil moisture will start falling. When the water content in the soil reaches the value known as permanent wilting point (when the plant starts wilting) fresh dose of irrigation may be done so that water content is again raised to the field capacity of soil.Soil differ themselves in some or all the properties depending on the difference in the geotechnical and environmental factors. Soils serve as a reservoir of the nutrients and water required for crops.Study of soil and its water holding capacity is essential for the efficient utilization of irrigation water. Hence the identification of the geotechnical parameters which influence the water retention capacity, chemical properties which influence the nutrients and the method to improve these properties have vital importance in irrigation / agricultural engineering. An attempt in this direction has been made in this study by conducting the required tests on different types of soil samples collected from various locations in Trivandrum district Kerala, with and without admixtures like coir pith, coir pith compost and vermi compost. Evaluation of the results are presented and a design procedure has been proposed for a better irrigation scheduling and management.
Description: Division of Civil Engineering, Cochin University of Science and Technology
URI: http://dyuthi.cusat.ac.in/purl/2361
Date: 2010-11


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