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Effect of Rock Fragments on Tracer Transport in Broadleaved and Coniferous Forest Soils: Column Study

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Document pages: 18 pages

Abstract: This study investigated the effect of rock fragments on tracer transport in broadleaved and coniferous forest soils from the 0 - 100 cm depth of Gongga Mountain in eastern margin of Qinghai Tibetan Plateau. Using repacked soil columns (20 cm in height and 10 cm in diameter) with different rock fragments contents (0 , 5 , and 15 in v v), breakthrough curves of bromide (as non-reactive tracer) were obtained under saturated condition. A two-region model was applied and the parameters were estimated by inverse modeling. Results show that with increasing rock fragment content the dispersivity (λ) generally increased while the mobile-immobile partition coefficient (β) and the mass transfer coefficient (ω) decreased. The presence of rock fragments led to an increase in the fraction of immobile domain as well as soil tortuosity. A plausible explanation is that the soil beneath the rock fragments behaved as immobile domain and soil-rock interfaces could serve as preferential flow paths.

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