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This study details a fracture continuum methodology for inclusion of discrete fracture networks into a dual-permeability model for a complex hydrogeologic site. The calibrated model was able to reproduce dominant flow characteristics of the site, including variably saturated flow conditions, heads consistent with water level measurements, and transient portal discharge.

Vadose Zone Journal August 01, 2014, Vol.13, vzj2013.10.0183. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2013.10.0183

This study presents a new method for deriving the breakthrough curve (BTC) of Br tracer by measurements in the laboratory. In this method the breakthrough is recorded by an ion selective electrode placed in a flow cell into which a peristaltic pump redirects part of the effluent.

Vadose Zone Journal August 01, 2014, Vol.13, vzj2013.11.0192. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2013.11.0192

Pedotransfer functions (PTF) are usually used to estimate soil water retention. Analysis of PTF errors may provide insights into the effects of soil properties on the PTF performance. An approach based on classification trees is presented to identify PTF error patterns. Results illustrate the interaction of soil attributes as they affect the PTF performance.

Vadose Zone Journal August 01, 2014, Vol.13, vzj2013.11.0195. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2013.11.0195

A method is presented to maintain one-dimensional heat transport in variably saturated soil cells over freezing and thawing temperatures. It applies transient thermal boundary conditions and replicates field-scale ground thaw. The method allows the isolated study of coupled heat and transport in permafrost environments.

Vadose Zone Journal August 01, 2014, Vol.13, vzj2014.01.0008. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2014.01.0008

We evaluated the reliability of box (BLs) and tension lysimeters (TLs) in detecting concentrations of Cu, Pb, Sb, and Zn in interstitial water of the vadose zone. We evaluated sorption induced by the lysimeter material itself, quartz sand added to BLs, and glass beads placed around the TL’s porous cup. The BLs were more suitable for interstitial water sampling than TLs. Among TLs, the one made of nylon was the most reliable.

Vadose Zone Journal August 01, 2014, Vol.13, vzj2014.02.0013. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2014.02.0013

We present a method to quantify the distribution and growth of plant roots in soil using X-ray computed tomography. The method can be applied to complex root systems and will be useful for the study of root–soil interactions.

Vadose Zone Journal August 01, 2014, Vol.13, vzj2014.03.0024. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2014.03.0024

Power-law scaling from continuum percolation theory is applied to relate two soil properties: saturated hydraulic conductivity and air permeability under completely dry conditions. Combining the effective porosity-dependent models provides a physical interpretation for a previously published logarithmic relationship between the two properties.

Vadose Zone Journal August 01, 2014, Vol.13, vzj2014.03.0029. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2014.03.0029

Vacuum-induced pore-water extraction for unsaturated porous media may reduce vadose zone contaminant flux to groundwater. Intermediate-scale laboratory experiments have been conducted to improve understanding and recognize limitation of the technique. Results show that sustained water extraction could be achieved in low permeability sediments if initial water saturations were relatively high.

Vadose Zone Journal August 01, 2014, Vol.13, vzj2014.04.0044. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2014.04.0044

A gas-tracer test in a deep arid unsaturated zone demonstrates that standard estimates of effective diffusivity from sediment properties allow a reasonable first-cut assessment of gas contaminant transport. Apparent anomalies in historic transport behavior at this and other waste disposal sites may result from factors other than nonreactive gas transport properties.

Vadose Zone Journal August 01, 2014, Vol.13, vzj2014.04.0045. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2014.04.0045

Book Reviews

Vadose Zone Journal August 01, 2014, Vol.13, vzj2014.05.0053. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2014.05.0053
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