Water Flow Through Sand-based Root Zones Atop Geotextiles Academic Article uri icon


  • An alternative to the time-tested gravel drainage layer beneath a sand-based root zone of a sports field or golf putting green can be constructed from a geotextile atop a highly porous drainage material or structure. The geotextile serves to support the root zone mixture on the drainage layer whose pores can be too large for the sand to support itself by bridging. In such an application, the geotextile should have high enough strength and resistance to stretching to support the root zone mixture atop the pores of the drainage layer and should contain internal pores of appropriate size to retain the bulk of particles in the root zone mixture and to allow free passage of drainage water and eluviating fine particles. The objective of this study was to determine whether geotextiles selected to meet these criteria affect the drainage rates of sand-based root zones and whether they affect the size of particles lost from the root zonegeotextile systems. In a 1-year laboratory study that made use of 150-mm diameter polyvinyl chloride (PVC) test cells, measurements of drainage rates and saturated hydraulic conductivities were made on replicated combinations of 10 geotextiles and three 300-mm deep root zone mixtures. Size distributions and total masses of particles that passed from the root zones through the geotextiles were measured. Statistical analyses showed that drainage rate, saturated hydraulic conductivity, and size distribution and mass of eluviated particles were unaffected by the properties of the geotextiles. The results gave of no reason to prohibit the use of geotextiles to support sand-based root zones in golf putting greens or sports fields.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Rose-Harvey, K., McInnes, K. J., & Thomas, J. C.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Rose-Harvey, Keisha||McInnes, Kevin J||Thomas, James C

publication date

  • October 2012