Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub

    Description

    Measurements of soil water potential and water table fluctuations suggest that morphologically distinct soils in a headwater catchment at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire formed as a result of variations in saturated and unsaturated hydrologic fluxes in the mineral soil. Previous work showed that each group of these soils had distinct water table fluctuations in response to precipitation; however, observed variations in soil morphology also occurred above the maximum height of observed saturation. Variations in unsaturated fluxes have been hypothesized to explain differences in soil horizon thickness and presence/absence of specific horizons but have not been explicitly investigated. We examined tensiometer and shallow groundwater well records to identify differences in unsaturated water fluxes among podzols that show distinct morphological and chemical differences. The lack of vertical hydraulic gradients at the study sites suggests that lateral unsaturated flow occurs in several of the soil units. We propose that the variations in soil horizon thickness and presence/absence observed at the site are due in part to slopeā€parallel water flux in the unsaturated portion of the solum. In addition, unsaturated flow may be involved in the translocation of spodic material that primes those areas to contribute water with distinct chemistry to the stream network and represents a potential source/sink of organometallic compounds in the landscape.

    Publication Notes

    • Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
    • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
    • During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
    • Please contact Sharon Hobrla, shobrla@fs.fed.us if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Gannon, John P.; McGuire, Kevin J.; Bailey, Scott W.; Bourgault, Rebecca R.; Ross, Donald S. 2017. Lateral water flux in the unsaturated zone: A mechanism for the formation of spatial soil heterogeneity in a headwater catchment. Hydrological Processes. 31(20): 3568-3579. https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.11279.

    Cited

    Google Scholar

    Keywords

    hillslope hydrology, hydropedology, pedogenesis, soil science, stream chemistry, unsaturated flow

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/54773