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Old 11-29-2013, 11:32 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Central Wisconsin
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Water Infiltration

Missouri education, talks about water movement through various soil types:

"Structure is important in that it can modify the influence of soil texture. For example, a (structureless) soil high in clay will have very fine pores because of the higher packing ratio of small particles. Without the ameliorating influence of soil structure, air, water and plant roots would move through the soil with great difficulty. Structure provides larger spaces between aggregates to facilitate movement. Air, water and plant roots can penetrate deeper in the soil; this can be important to plant survival during times of drought. The larger voids serve as short-term storage space for water, easily accessed by plants."

at the following website:

"Many types or shapes of structure occur in soils. Other soils have no true structure and are called structureless. Certain deposits, for example sands in a sand dune, are called single grain because there is little to no attraction between sand grains. On the other textural extreme, some clay soils occur as large cohesive masses and are termed massive in structure. Many soils, however, will exhibit definite and repeatable shapes that we can describe with four general categories."

"The final structure shape is platy. Platy structure is characterized by relatively thin (<1 mm to about 10 mm) horizontally oriented peds that look like plates stacked one on top of another. It may occur in surface or subsurface horizons as a natural product of soil formation or development. Unlike other shapes, it may be inherited from a soilís parent material especially if it was deposited by water (alluvium, flowing water; or lacustrine, lake water) or ice (glacial)."

"W/out the ameliorating influence of soil structure...", in the first paragraph, how does water behave in clay soils???
Evidently there is something I'm missing in these short paragraphs that do not allow for platelets in clay to restrict water infiltration... I'd like to hear rational explanation why clay platelets do NOT restrict water movement...
Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
,,, I wonder what does...
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