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Journal of Arid Land  2019, Vol. 11 Issue (5): 740-753    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-019-0106-6
Orginal Article     
Effects of biochar on water movement characteristics in sandy soil under drip irrigation
Shenghai PU1,2,3, Guangyong LI1,*(), Guangmu TANG2,3, Yunshu ZHANG2,3, Wanli XU2, Pan LI2,3, Guangping FENG2,3, Feng DING2
1College of Water Resources and Civil Engineering, China Agriculture University, Beijing 100083, China
2Institute of Soil Fertilizer and Agricultural Water Saving,Xinjiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Urumqi 830091, China
3Key Laboratory of Northwest Oasis Agricultural Environment,Ministry of Agriculture of China,Urumqi 830091,China
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Biochar addition can improve the physical and hydraulic characteristics of sandy soil. This study investigated the effects of biochar on water holding capacity and water movement in sandy soil under drip irrigation. By indoor simulation experiments, the effects of biochar application at five levels (0%, 1%, 2%, 4%and 6%) on the soil water retention curve, infiltration characteristics of drip irrigation and water distribution were tested and analyzed. The results showed thatbiochar addition rate was positively correlated with water holding capacity of sandy soil and soil available water. Within the same infiltration time, with an increasing amount of added biochar, the diffusion distance of the horizontal wetting front (HWF) tended to decrease, but the infiltration distance of vertical wetting front (VWF) initially declined and then rose. The features of wetted bodies changed from "broad-shallow" to "narrow-deep" type. The relationship between the transport distance of HWF and VWF and the infiltration time was described by a power function. At the same distance from the point source, the larger was the amount of added biochar, the higher was the soil water content. Biochar had a great influence on the water content of the layer with biochar (0-200mm) and had some effects at 200-250mm without biochar; but had less influence on the soil water content deeper than 250mm. For the application rate of biochar of 4%, most water was retained within 0-250mm soil layer. However, when biochar application amount was high (6%), it would be helpful for water infiltration. During the improvement of sandy soil, biochar application rate of 4% in the plow layer had the best effect.

Key wordsbiochar      sandy soil      water holding capacity      water movement      drip irrigation     
Received: 08 October 2018      Published: 10 October 2019
Corresponding Authors: Guangyong LI     E-mail:
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The first and second authors contributed equally to this work.

Cite this article:

Shenghai PU, Guangyong LI, Guangmu TANG, Yunshu ZHANG, Wanli XU, Pan LI, Guangping FENG, Feng DING. Effects of biochar on water movement characteristics in sandy soil under drip irrigation. Journal of Arid Land, 2019, 11(5): 740-753.

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