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Adsorption of Water Vapor by Bare Soil in an Olive Grove in Southern Spain

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  • 1 Department of Soil Science, School of Human and Environmental Sciences, University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom
  • 2 Instituto de Recursos Naturales y Agrobiologia, CSIC, Seville, Spain
  • 3 Department of Soil Science, School of Human and Environmental Sciences, University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom
  • 4 Departmento de Sistemas Físicos, Químicos y Naturales, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Seville, Spain
  • 5 Instituto de Recursos Naturales y Agrobiologia, CSIC, Seville, Spain
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Abstract

Data for water vapor adsorption and evaporation are presented for a bare soil (sandy loam, clay content 15%) in a southern Spanish olive grove. Water losses and gains were measured using eight high-precision minilysimeters, placed around an olive tree, which had been irrigated until the soil reached field capacity (∼0.22 m3 m−3). They were subsequently left to dry for 10 days. A pair of lysimeters was situated at each of the main points of the compass (N, E, S, W), at a distance of 1 m (the inner set of lysimeters; ILS) and 2 m (the outer set of lysimeters; OLS), respectively, from the tree trunk.

Distinct periods of moisture loss (evaporation) and moisture gain (vapor adsorption) could be distinguished for each day. Vapor adsorption often started just after noon and generally lasted until the (early) evening. Values of up to 0.7 mm of adsorbed water per day were measured. Adsorption was generally largest for the OLS (up to 100% more on a daily basis), and increased during the dry down. This was mainly the result of lower OLS surface soil moisture contents (period-average absolute difference ∼0.005 m3 m−3), as illustrated using various analyses employing a set of micrometeorological equations describing the exchange of water vapor between bare soil and the atmosphere. These analyses also showed that the amount of water vapor adsorbed by soils is very sensitive to changes in atmospheric forcing and surface variables. The use of empirical equations to estimate vapor adsorption is therefore not recommended.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Anne Verhoef, Dept. of Soil Science, School of Human and Environmental Sciences, P.O. Box 233, Whiteknights, University of Reading, Reading RG6 6DW, United Kingdom. Email: a.verhoef@reading.ac.uk

Abstract

Data for water vapor adsorption and evaporation are presented for a bare soil (sandy loam, clay content 15%) in a southern Spanish olive grove. Water losses and gains were measured using eight high-precision minilysimeters, placed around an olive tree, which had been irrigated until the soil reached field capacity (∼0.22 m3 m−3). They were subsequently left to dry for 10 days. A pair of lysimeters was situated at each of the main points of the compass (N, E, S, W), at a distance of 1 m (the inner set of lysimeters; ILS) and 2 m (the outer set of lysimeters; OLS), respectively, from the tree trunk.

Distinct periods of moisture loss (evaporation) and moisture gain (vapor adsorption) could be distinguished for each day. Vapor adsorption often started just after noon and generally lasted until the (early) evening. Values of up to 0.7 mm of adsorbed water per day were measured. Adsorption was generally largest for the OLS (up to 100% more on a daily basis), and increased during the dry down. This was mainly the result of lower OLS surface soil moisture contents (period-average absolute difference ∼0.005 m3 m−3), as illustrated using various analyses employing a set of micrometeorological equations describing the exchange of water vapor between bare soil and the atmosphere. These analyses also showed that the amount of water vapor adsorbed by soils is very sensitive to changes in atmospheric forcing and surface variables. The use of empirical equations to estimate vapor adsorption is therefore not recommended.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Anne Verhoef, Dept. of Soil Science, School of Human and Environmental Sciences, P.O. Box 233, Whiteknights, University of Reading, Reading RG6 6DW, United Kingdom. Email: a.verhoef@reading.ac.uk

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