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Artificial drainage is a widespread measure used to improve the conditions of agricultural soils to increase crop yield. The guest editors introduce the diverse subjects of the eight papers in Special Section: Artificial Drainage and explore the challenges associated with drainage systems, progress in their management, and the priorities for future research.

Vadose Zone Journal February 01, 2010, Vol.9, 1-3. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2009.0149

Two hundred years ago, some of the most influential men in England visited a Bedfordshire farm to witness innovations in irrigation and drainage conducted at fields attended to by two of England's most famous land drainers, William “Strata” Smith and Joseph Elkington. Investigations.

Vadose Zone Journal February 01, 2010, Vol.9, 4-13. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2008.0148

Monitoring programs are crucial for the correct evaluation of environmental impacts resulting from practices such as artificial drainage. We investigated spatial and temporal aspects as well as sampling and load calculation methods to improve the design of monitoring programs for catchments that are fast reacting and prone to nitrate losses.

Vadose Zone Journal February 01, 2010, Vol.9, 14-24. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2008.0181

To reduce surface water pollution from agricultural sources quantification of processes that generate nutrient transport is necessary. We related field-scale flow route discharges to catchment-scale nitrate transport. The findings of this study stress the importance of a nested measurement setup when we want to evaluate pollution-reducing measures.

Vadose Zone Journal February 01, 2010, Vol.9, 25-35. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2008.0141

Pipe pressurization within agricultural subsurface drainage systems may have important consequences on hydrological events. Experimental data, including flow rate in a collector pipe together with water table levels show that infiltrated water can be temporarily stored within the soil profile, introducing a delay of peak discharge downstream.

Vadose Zone Journal February 01, 2010, Vol.9, 36-42. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2008.0152

Strategies for operation of drainage water management systems in Drummer soil in Indiana were evaluated for multiple drain spacings (10–35 m) based on the analysis of a 92-yr climatic record using the DRAINMOD model. The potential impact of these strategies on corn yield and drain flow reduction in the dry, wet, cool, and warm years was assessed.

Vadose Zone Journal February 01, 2010, Vol.9, 43-52. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2008.0170

Soil water dynamic components under a winter rye cover crop have not been specifically addressed in the U.S. Midwest. This study showed the effectiveness of winter rye on drainage reduction and soil moisture in central Iowa. The evapotranspiration of rye in May was estimated by a soil water dynamic analysis.

Vadose Zone Journal February 01, 2010, Vol.9, 53-60. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2008.0163

Nitrate-N losses were modeled in response to changes in the spacing and depth of subsurface tile drainage systems during 1999 to 2003 from two corn-soybean fields in south-central Minnesota. Reductions in nitrate-N losses were possible by decreasing the depth or increasing the spacing of tile drains without significant reductions in crop yield.

Vadose Zone Journal February 01, 2010, Vol.9, 61-72. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2008.0158

The hydrological functioning of an artificial wetland and a forest zone used to decrease pesticide pollution from an artificially drained watershed is described. Water volumes and flow rates entering these two systems and each system's internal hydrology were studied by statistically analyzing flow data and conducting a tracer experiment.

Vadose Zone Journal February 01, 2010, Vol.9, 73-84. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2008.0164

A model of combined molecular diffusion and advection is presented. Molecular diffusion is defined as a constituent flux in response to a kinetic energy gradient rather than a flux relative to the mean flux of a fluid mixture. This interpretation is consistent with the laws of probability applied to molecular motion and is verified by experimental data.

Vadose Zone Journal February 01, 2010, Vol.9, 85-94. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2009.0082

Macropore parameters are often determined indirectly using outflow or discharge data, giving little insight into soil moisture distribution. We used infiltration patterns and a physically based model for macropore parameterization. The results were validated with soil moisture, rainfall and discharge data and compared to a model without macropores.

Vadose Zone Journal February 01, 2010, Vol.9, 95-106. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2009.0031

Our objective was to characterize the unsaturated hydraulic properties of basic oxygen furnace (BOF) slags that are byproducts that could be used in urban works and can be considered as technosoils. The BOF slags were applied in an experimental road structure and studied for 1 yr through water infiltration experiments. Data inversion analysis through an adapted BEST method provided the unsaturated hydraulic properties useful for transfer modeling. Results pointed at strong initial spatial variability and a significant evolution with time. This was clearly related to clogging of the BOF slag porosity due to carbonation.

Vadose Zone Journal February 01, 2010, Vol.9, 107-116. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2009.0039

Apparent electrical conductivity has been used widely to map the spatial variation of average soil properties. A commonly used approach to discern lateral and vertical changes is the use of electromagnetic inversion techniques. We present a one-dimensional laterally constrained algorithm to invert multiconfiguration electromagnetic data.

Vadose Zone Journal February 01, 2010, Vol.9, 117-125. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2009.0088

A high concentration source of carbon dioxide (nearly 60,000 microliters/L) has been observed in the vadose zone of a Mediterranean carbonated aquifer in the transition between the vadose zone and the water table level. Analysis with carbon isotope values of carbon dioxide determined microbial decomposition of the high dissolved organic fraction in the groundwater (20-30 mg/L) as the main process.

Vadose Zone Journal February 01, 2010, Vol.9, 126-136. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2009.0027

The potential for aerobic biodegradation of petroleum vapors in a 16-m-deep vadose zone was evaluated based on laboratory experiments and in situ tests. Biodegradation in microcosms was found to be related to soil physical conditions in the field. The effects of soil layering, soil texture, and gas transport properties are discussed.

Vadose Zone Journal February 01, 2010, Vol.9, 137-147. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2009.0010

A new design is presented for a variable-suction multicompartment percolation sampler that can be buried below an undisturbed soil volume in the field. Three prototypes were tested in laboratory and field experiments.

Vadose Zone Journal February 01, 2010, Vol.9, 148-159. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2008.0111

Time domain reflectometry probes were calibrated for the use in municipal solid waste and their sensitivity on several parameters was investigated. Results illustrate that, despite some material effects, an efficient monitoring of moisture content changes was enabled and calibration equations are proposed for the studied typical waste material.

Vadose Zone Journal February 01, 2010, Vol.9, 160-171. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2009.0046

The effect of grain size, moisture content, porosity, and wetting-drainage processes on the thermal conductivity of sands was investigated experimentally. Relations for thermal conductivity-moisture content were found to be distinct within three moisture ranges, and dependent on grain size and porosity but not wetting-drainage processes.

Vadose Zone Journal February 01, 2010, Vol.9, 172-180. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2009.0095

The sensor-to-sensor variability for the low-budget ECH2O EC-5, TE, and 5TE soil water content sensors was verified with a calibration procedure using dielectric standard liquids. We demonstrated that a sensor-specific calibration increases the accuracy of the soil water content measurement.

Vadose Zone Journal February 01, 2010, Vol.9, 181-186. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2009.0036

X-ray computed tomography yields high-resolution visualizations of pore structures and interfaces. For quantitative analysis, segmentation is applied to separate solid and fluid phases. This process is complicated by scanning and reconstruction artifacts. A computationally efficient approach to numerically correct for image artifacts was developed.

Vadose Zone Journal February 01, 2010, Vol.9, 187-191. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2009.0042
Vadose Zone Journal February 01, 2010, Vol.9, 192-193. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2009.0048
Vadose Zone Journal February 01, 2010, Vol.9, 194-195. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2009.0057

Book Reviews

Vadose Zone Journal February 01, 2010, Vol.9, 196-197. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2009.0115br
Vadose Zone Journal February 01, 2010, Vol.9, 198. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2009.0141br
Vadose Zone Journal February 01, 2010, Vol.9, 199-200. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2009.0110br
Vadose Zone Journal February 01, 2010, Vol.9, 201. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2009.0062br
Vadose Zone Journal February 01, 2010, Vol.9, 202-203. doi:https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2009.0126br

THANKS TO REVIEWERS

Vadose Zone Journal February 01, 2010, Vol.9, 204-206. doi:
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