New method for the characterization of threedimensional preferential flow paths in the field Academic Article uri icon


  • Preferential flow path development in the field is the result of the complex interaction of multiple processes relating to the soil's structure, moisture condition, stress level, and biological activity. Visualizing and characterizing the cracking behavior and preferential paths evolution with soil depth has always been a key challenge and a major barrier against scaling up existing hydrologic concepts and models to account for preferential flows. This paper presents a new methodology to quantify soil preferential paths in the field using liquid latex. The evolution of the preferential flow paths at different soil depths and moisture conditions is assessed. Results from different soil series (Savage clay loam soil versus Chalmers clay loam) and different vegetation covers and soil managements (corn/tilled field versus soybean no-till field in the Chalmers soil series) are presented. Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.

published proceedings

  • Water Resources Research

author list (cited authors)

  • Najm, M., Jabro, J. D., Iversen, W. M., Mohtar, R. H., & Evans, R. G.

citation count

  • 62

complete list of authors

  • Najm, Majdi R Abou||Jabro, Jalal D||Iversen, William M||Mohtar, Rabi H||Evans, Robert G

publication date

  • January 1, 2010 11:11 AM