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Open AccessArticle

Spatial and Temporal Changes in Infiltration and Aggregate Stability: A Case Study of a Subhumid Irrigated Cropland

Geographical Institute, Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences, MTA, 1112 Budapest, Hungary
Institute of Geography and Geoinformatics, University of Miskolc; 3515 Miskolc, Hungary
Department of Environmental and Landscape Geography, ELTE University, 1117 Budapest, Hungary
Department of Soil Science and Water Management, Faculty of Horticultural Science, Szent István University, 1118 Budapest, Hungary
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(5), 876;
Received: 1 April 2019 / Revised: 17 April 2019 / Accepted: 24 April 2019 / Published: 26 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology)
PDF [2521 KB, uploaded 28 April 2019]


Climate change is increasing the occurrence of extreme precipitation events and causing irregular precipitation patterns. This occurs in parallel with the degradation of crop fields, and triggers the occurrence of pluvial floods and droughts on the same field. Consequently, irrigation must be adapted to the changing soil properties. Detailed spatial and temporal measurements of changes in infiltration are required. This study aimed to quantify changes in infiltration for a subhumid irrigated cropland with various soil types (Phaeozem, Solonetz, Chernozem) and field conditions (seedbed and stubble) by simulating rainfall. As the soil structure determines hydrology, the aggregate stability/surface roughness was tested as a proxy of infiltration through photogrammetry. The soil losses caused by precipitation did not exhibit connections to changes in the surface roughness, and lower aggregate stability did not necessarily cause lower infiltration intensities, suggesting that sedimentation could only partly seal drainage pores. The final infiltration intensities varied within a wide range (0.2–28.4 mm h−1). Seedbed preparation did not increase the volume of micropores (<10 µm), which resulted in higher infiltration under stubble. Photogrammetry was found to be a potentially useful tool for measuring aggregate stability, however, further investigations on in situ soil surfaces are required for technical improvement. View Full-Text
Keywords: rainfall simulation; surface roughness; irrigated crop field; photogrammetry rainfall simulation; surface roughness; irrigated crop field; photogrammetry

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Jakab, G.; Dobos, E.; Madarász, B.; Szalai, Z.; Szabó, J.A. Spatial and Temporal Changes in Infiltration and Aggregate Stability: A Case Study of a Subhumid Irrigated Cropland. Water 2019, 11, 876.

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