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Characterizing Mass and Energy Transport at Different Vadose Zone Scales (from W1188)
O. O. Wendroth
Department of Plant and Soil Sciences
This project seeks to fill these gaps by developing new technologies for measuring transport, transfer, rate and state variables using comprehensive experimental designs that will yield appropriate scaling approaches. We will develop new measurement tools and process statistical structures for both measurements and processes essential for investigating soil ecosystem processes. We will improve conceptual and numerical modeling approaches that couple interdependent processes and improve our ability to transfer measurement and model information between scales. We will use our skills as soil and environmental physicists to advise and participate in national and international multidisciplinary projects to impart the importance of soil resources and the knowledge we have gained through decades of studying this critical zone.
And, we will achieve this by participating in activities, like establishing national research site observatories and measuring the spatial distribution of soil moisture across our Nation. The collaborations created and fostered through the multistate research program have spanned generations of soil physicists and hydrologists, and it is the collective opinion of the participants that multi-institutional and multi-PI collaborations have been significantly enhanced because of the multistate program. Indeed maintaining the focus of such a large group would not be possible without this multistate program. Using these collaborations, significant benefits have been realized through understanding soil physics principles and applying them to environmental sustainability of soil resources, protecting ground and surface waters, improving agricultural production, only to name a few areas. This group has maintained a flexible organization of researchers and field sites, rather than on focused, yet restrictive, approaches like common field sites or identical experimental approaches at different locations. Members tend to form and re-form around new multi-investigator programs, while addressing critical questions. This flexible and synergistic approach has been extremely productive and it encourages a rich pollination of ideas and solutions to complex problems.
The multistate committee structure is a convenient and efficient platform for establishing national research collaborations, validating approaches and techniques, pooling data, creating rigorous peer reviews, accessing unique equipment and developing the next generation of highly-educated soil scientists, environmentalists, and engineers.
This proposal seeks to maintain the ties between this extremely productive and creative group that without the W1188 committee and its long line of predecessors would not be as focused on national needs research. The proposal also highlights our efforts to improve environmental monitoring, implement basic soil physics research, reach out to a broader scientific community, and educate and communicate to stakeholders and colleagues within and outside our traditional discipline.
2010 Project Description
1. Short-term Outcomes Ph.D. Students mentored (main advisor): 5 Ph.D. Students graduated (main advisor): 2 M.S. Students mentored (main advisor): 1 M.S. Students graduated (main advisor): 1 External grants: $ 335,000 ($324,000 were year 2 of a USDA project)
2. Outputs Report to Kentucky Small Grain Growers' Association: "Winter Wheat Development, Grain Yield and Soil Water and Nitrogen Dynamics in a Farmer's Field in Western Kentucky" by Ole Wendroth, Greg Schwab, Lloyd Murdock, and Dennis Egli Ole Wendroth, Vicente Vasquez, and Christopher J. Matocha. 2010. Spatial Variation Scales of Rainfall Characteristics and Bromide Leaching. Poster. American Geophysical Union, Fall 2010, Dec. 13-18, San Francisco. Wendroth, O. 2010. Combined space-time state space model for field soil water storage. Oral Presentation. Annual Meeting, ASA-CSSA-SSSA, Oct. 30 - Nov. 4, 2010, Long Beach, California. Wendroth, O., C.J. Matocha, and V. Vasquez. 2010. Field-Scale Bromide Transport as a Function of Rainfall Amount, Intensity and Application Time Delay. Poster. 19th World Congress of Soil Science, IUSS, Brisbane, Australia, Aug. 01-06, 2010. Wendroth, O., V. Vasquez, and C.J. Matocha. 2010. Impact of rainfall amount, intensity, and time lag on leaching behavior of a surface-applied Bromide tracer. Oral Presentation. Kentucky Water Resources Annual Symposium, March 22, 2010, Griffin Gate Marriott Resort, Lexington, KY
3. Activities Chair of Precision Resources Management Committee, College of Agriculture, University of Kentucky; Program development and review of PRM proposals Associate Editor Soil Science Society of America Journal Associate Editor Vadose Zone Journal Editorial Board Member: Soil and Tillage Research; Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science Manuscript reviews in 2010: 46
4. Milestones Derived the spatial range of representativity for bromide tracer concentration at the field scale. Found out that the higher the rainfall intensity, the lower the amount of rainfall, and the longer the time between surface chemical salt and subsequent rainfall, the shallower the leaching depth of surface-applied salt. Wheat research in Kentucky: Found out, that crop indices monitored in spring time have a closer relationship to crop yield variability than deterministic model-based predictions. Established a new graduate course PLS 655 at the University of Kentucky in "Spatial and Temporal Statistics".
Research results show that farmers should pay attention to rainfall forecast before applying fertilizers or pesticides, and if they do they contribute to water quality. New experimental designs allow to study soil processes on-site in natural landscapes and farmers' fields. Using crop sensors in spring time, farmers can save resources by site-specifically applying nitrogen fertilizer. The new course in Spatial and Temporal Statistics has an impact on higher level education in agricultural sciences.
Miller, J.O., A.D. Karathanasis, and O.O.B. Wendroth. 2010. In-situ colloid generation and transport in 30 year old mine soil profiles receiving biosolids. Intl. J. Mining, Reclam. Environ. 24:95-108.
Wendroth, O., S. Koszinski, and V. Vasquez. 2010. Soil spatial variability. In: Huang, P.M., Y.C. Li, and M.E. Sumner (Eds.) Handbook of Soil Science, 2nd ed., CRC Press. (in press).
Wendroth, O., E.L. Ritchey, S. Nambuthiri, J.H. Grove, and R.C. Pearce. 2010. Spatial variability of soil physical properties. In: Gliński, J., J. Horabik, and J. Lipiec (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Agrophysics. Springer, Heidelberg, Germany. (in press).
Wendroth, O., K.C. Kersebaum, G. Schwab, and L. Murdock. 2011. Spatial relationships of soil properties, crop indices and N application pattern with wheat growth and yield in a field. In: Ahuja, L., and L. Ma (Eds.) Methods of Introducing System Models in Field Research, Volume 2 in the Advances in Agricultural System Modeling Series, ASA-SSSA-CSSA, Madison, WI. (in press).