Permeability estimates for soils in the southern piedmont of Georgia.
Abreu, Maria Eugenia
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A combination of different characteristics may affect the permeability behavior of a soil. Saturated hydraulic conductivity or permeability (Ks) was measured in situ at five sites in the Georgia Piedmont in order to examine relationships between Ks and soil morphological features. At each site, Ks was measured at seven locations on each of the three transects extending from summit to footslope components of the hillslope. At each location Ks was measured at three different depths with a compact constant head permeameter. Lab analyses were conducted with samples taken from the field to associate morphological features with soil permeability behavior. Results of this study indicate that field Ks measurements varied according to the parent material that developed that soil. Soils with considerably high permeability typically developed from felsic parent material and soils with low permeability typically originated from mafic parent materials. For each location within a site, horizon nomenclature had a great impact on the movement of water and these differences were further analyzed in the lab. Particle size distribution, bulk density, and CEC were examined to provide detailed information about horizon characteristics. Landscape (hillslope) was not a major factor affecting the field Ks and no pattern was observed for the hillslope component.