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Journal of Arid Land  2015, Vol. 7 Issue (2): 238-250    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-014-0095-4
Research Articles     
Characteristics of deep drainage and soil water in the mobile sandy lands of Inner Mongolia, northern China
XinPing LIU1,2, YuHui HE1,2, XueYong ZHAO1,2, TongHui ZHANG1,2, LaMei ZHANG1,2, YunHua MA1,2, ShuXia YAO1,2, ShaoKun WANG1,2, ShuiLian WEI1,2
1 Naiman Desertification Research Station, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China;
2 Laboratory of Stress Ecophysiology and Biotechnology, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
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Abstract  Quantification of deep drainage and the response of soil water content to rainfall patterns are critical for an effective management strategy of soil water conservation and groundwater utilization. However, information on how rainfall characteristics influence soil water dynamics and deep drainage in mobile sandy lands are lacking. We used an underground chamber to examine the response of deep drainage and soil water content in mobile sandy lands to rainfall characteristics during the growing season of 2010, 2011 and 2012. Results showed that rainfall in this area was dominated by small events (≤5 mm), which increased soil water content in the surface soil layers (0–40 cm), but did not increase soil water content at the deeper soil layers (greater than 40 cm). Soil water content at the 0–100 cm depth increased significantly when the total amount of rain was >20 mm. Rainfall amount, intensity and the duration of dry intervals were significantly related to the soil water content at different soil layers. Deep drainage was significantly correlated with rainfall amount and intensity, but not with the duration of the dry interval. The coefficients of deep drainage in mobile sandy lands ranged from 61.30% to 67.94% during the growing seasons. Our results suggested that rainfall infiltration in these widespread mobile sandy lands had considerable potential to increase soil water storage while recharging the groundwater in this region.

Key wordswatershed management      land use      groundwater      irrigation      arid region      Heihe River Basin     
Received: 24 April 2014      Published: 10 April 2015

This study was financially supported by the National Nature Science Foundation of China (41371053, 31270501), the Na-tional Science and Technology Planning Project (2011BAC07B02), and the Strategic Forerunner Project of Sci-ence and Technology, CAS (XDA05050201-04-01), and the Special Scientific Research Fund (201109025-2)

Corresponding Authors: XinPing LIU     E-mail:
Cite this article:

XinPing LIU, YuHui HE, XueYong ZHAO, TongHui ZHANG, LaMei ZHANG, YunHua MA, ShuXia YAO, ShaoKun WANG, ShuiLian WEI. Characteristics of deep drainage and soil water in the mobile sandy lands of Inner Mongolia, northern China. Journal of Arid Land, 2015, 7(2): 238-250.

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