Water Resources Research vol:37 issue:12 pages:2873-2888
To investigate relations between solute transport, soil properties, and experimental conditions, we summarize results from leaching experiments that we carried out in a range of soils, at different scales (column (0.3-1.0 m ID, 1.0 m length) and field plot scale), and using, different leaching rates (0.5-30 cm d(-1)). The lateral mixing regime and longitudinal dispersion were derived from time series of tracer concentrations at several depths in the soil. Field- and column-scale transport were similar in loam and silt loam soils. The mixing regime was related to soil morphological features, such as vertical tongues, stratification, macropores, and a water-repellent layer. The dispersion increased in all soils more than linearly with increasing leaching rate, implying that the dispersivity is not an intrinsic soil characteristic. The change of dispersivity with leaching rate was linked to the unsaturated hydraulic conductivity using a multidomain conceptualization of the pore space.