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Open AccessArticle

Infiltration into Frozen Silty Clay Loam Soil with Different Soil Water Contents in the Red River of the North Basin in the USA

1
Irrigation and Water Management Division, Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, Gazipur 1701, Bangladesh
2
Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58101, USA
3
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58108, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(2), 321; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12020321
Received: 13 December 2019 / Revised: 16 January 2020 / Accepted: 17 January 2020 / Published: 21 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology and Hydrogeology)
Predicting surface runoff and flooding in seasonally frozen areas such as the Red River of the North Basin (RRB) in USA is a challenging task. It depends on the knowledge of the complex process of infiltration in frozen soil, such as phase changes of water, ice content and distribution in the infiltration zone (the top 0–30 cm of the soil profile), soil pore size distribution, soil temperature and freeze–thaw cycles. In this study, the infiltration rates into frozen soil (Colvin silty clay loam according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Classification, and Chernozem according to Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) international soil Classification) were measured at three different initial water contents: permanent wilting point (PWP), θpwp; field capacity (FC), θfc; and between FC and PWP, θmid. Laboratory infiltration experiments were conducted using a Cornell sprinkle infiltrometer with three replications for each initial water content. Volumetric soil water content (θv) and soil temperature at three depths were also continuously monitored using sensors. The average infiltration rates were 0.66, 0.38, and 0.59 cm/min for three initial water contents (θpwp, θmid, and θfc, respectively). Initial infiltration into frozen soil occurred quickly in the soil with θpwp because the soil was dry. Melted ice water contributed to the total soil water content over time, so it made the initial infiltration comparatively slower in the soil with θmid. Initial infiltration was also slower in the soil with θfc because the wet soil had very small pore space, so the soil rapidly reached its saturation after the infiltration started. The Horton infiltration equation was fitted with the observed infiltration rates for the soils with three initial water contents, and the goodness of fit was evaluated by using the coefficient of determination (R2) and the root-mean-square error (RMSE). The final infiltration rates from the fitted Horton equations were 0.060, 0.010, and 0.027 cm/min for the initial water contents (θpwp, θmid, and θfc, respectively). The soil water content along the soil profile changed with the amount of infiltrating water over time. However, the initial soil water content and melt water from ice resulting from soil temperature rise regulated the change in soil water content. The amount of ice melt water contribution to soil water content change varied among the soils with different initial water contents (θpwp, θmid, and θfc, respectively). The θv changed gradually in the θpwp soil, rapidly at 0 °C in the θmid soil, and less in the θfc soil. The change in pore distribution due to freeze–thaw cycles and soil packing altered the soil hydraulic properties and the infiltration into the soil. This study can provide critical information for flood forecasting model and subsurface drainage design in the RRB. View Full-Text
Keywords: frozen soil; infiltration; initial water content; temperature; Red River of the North Basin frozen soil; infiltration; initial water content; temperature; Red River of the North Basin
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MDPI and ACS Style

Roy, D.; Jia, X.; Steele, D.D.; Chu, X.; Lin, Z. Infiltration into Frozen Silty Clay Loam Soil with Different Soil Water Contents in the Red River of the North Basin in the USA. Water 2020, 12, 321.

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