• Water Retention, Bulk Density, Particle Size, and Thermal and Hydraulic Conductivity of Arable Soils in Interior Alaska

      Sharratt, Brenton S. (School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management, Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, 1990-10)
      The relative proportion of liquid, gas, and solid as constituents of soil depends on factors such as climate, biological activity, and management practices. Therefore, the physical state of soil is a dynamic process, changing with time and position in the profile. Temperature, thermal and hydraulic conductivity, density, and water content are some quantitative properties characterizing the physical state of soil. These properties are important in describing soil processes such as water and heat flow, movement of chemicals, biological activity, and erosion. Water in the soil is subject to a number of forces resulting from the attraction of the soil matrix for water and presence of solutes and gravity. The energy status of water-the sum of these forces-is termed water potential. Processes such as evaporation and plant water uptake are governed by the gradient in water potential in the soil and across the root-soil interface, respectively. The term water potential is more descriptive of the soil water status than water content as movement of water is in response to differences in water potential.