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Syllabus PSS266 Soil Water Movement Summer 2011

PSS266 is a basic soil physics class in which students learn the principles of how water and heat are transmitted through the soil. In addition, students will learn how to use various soil physics tools including soil moisture equipment, infiltration concepts and various digital models. Among the models to be explored are TR55 SCS Curve Number Method, the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation, and HYDRUS. Students will also assemble a capacity-based soil water flow model using spreadsheet s. The course is an exploration of the theory and practice of soil physics. Active participation is encouraged. At the beginning of the class each participant frames a project question s/he will explore throughout the duration of the course. Applications in agriculture and environmental science will be discussed. Students are welcome to bring their own professional experiences to the class.

Where: UVM, Miller Dairy Complex, Spear Street, Burlington When: May 20 June 14, 2013; Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays from 9:00 12:30 Instructor: Josef Gorres Phone: 401 743 4311 e-mail: Office Hours: By appointment Textbook: Soil Physics with HYDRUS: Modeling and Applications [Hardcover] David E. Radcliffe (Author), Jiri Simunek (Author), CRC Press, 1st Edition, 2010
What do you need? A lap top Various downloads such as HYDRUS ( Soil Water Characteristics Calculator ( Curve Number Method, TR55 (

Rough Course Outline: Week 1: Introduction to Soil Physics as Physics Soil Physics Fundamentals Infiltration theories Field moisture constant model: Spreadsheet model for accounting for soil moisture

Hands-on Investigations: Darcys Law Installing soil matric potential equipment. Estimating field moisture constants with the Soil Water Characteristics Calculator Redistribution of water TR55, estimating runoff with the curve number method Matric potentials in soil columns Soil pore models: Cylindrical pore models, Mobile-Immobile Model Hands-On Investigations: Measuring infiltration in the field Measuring Ksat in the field. Estimating Ksat as a function of matric potential with the Soil Moisture characteristics Calculator. Setting up an iButton Framing student soil physics question s for individual or duo projects. Begin work on student projects. Week 2: TR-55 continued Evapotranspiration models, role of weather, role of plants Setting up HYDRUS: parameterizing a soil model. Measuring what we need in the field Inside HydrusPhysics of soil water movement Pedotransfer functions: Moisture, Conductivity as a function of matric potential Parameterizing and calibrating Hydrus. Student project work Week 3: Physics of temperature variations in soils Driving forces of water and heat transport Effect of water on heat transmission Analyzing soil temperature iButton data. Student project work. Presentation of student work. Special Topics from agriculture and environmental science will be worked into each class period You will be assessed on your class work and participation. If you have any disabilities and need accommodations for any of this work, please see me.