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See detailÉVOLUTION DE LA TENEUR EN EAU LE LONG D’UNE TOPOSEQUENCE FORESTIERE ARGILO-LIMONEUSE
Deraedt, Deborah ULg; Colinet, Gilles ULg; Degré, Aurore ULg

in Milieux Poreux et Transferts Hydriques (in press)

For the hydrological modeling of forested watersheds, the understanding of the forest hydrodynamic is essential. This study focusses on the hydrology of a Belgian forested plot with high stoniness and ... [more ▼]

For the hydrological modeling of forested watersheds, the understanding of the forest hydrodynamic is essential. This study focusses on the hydrology of a Belgian forested plot with high stoniness and steep slope. The soil water content is monitored at several positions on the toposequence and at different depth. During rain events, peak in soil water content are observed in different depth depending on the position along the toposequence. [less ▲]

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See detailEvaluation of soil structural changes through macroscopic and microscopic measurement
Parvin, Nargish ULg; Degré, Aurore ULg; Chelin, Marie ULg et al

Poster (2015, April 16)

The heterogeneity of soil structure and pore size distribution are highly influenced by external factors like tillage systems and other agricultural management practices. However, changes in soil ... [more ▼]

The heterogeneity of soil structure and pore size distribution are highly influenced by external factors like tillage systems and other agricultural management practices. However, changes in soil hydrodynamic behavior are not fully understood and are still under research. Also, researchers have explained the impact of tillage practices on soil hydraulic properties related to pore size distribution, connectivity and orientation are involved but the characterization of these modifications and consequences remains a challenge. Furthermore, the relation between macroscopic measurements and microscopic investigation of the soil structure remains scarce. Recently, X-ray tomography (X- μCT) has been used in order to characterize changes in soil pore size distribution in various contexts and the method is able to link microtomography information to hydrodynamic measurement. In our study, X-μCT has been used in order to characterize changes in soil pore system. Since, tomography does not count most of the micropores, Richards’ pressure plate and evaporation method was also combined to get complete range of pore size distribution. We found good match between evaporation data with X-μCT at the macropore scale and evaporation data with pressure plate method at micropore scale. X-μCT data refines retention and hydraulic curves near saturation where Richards’ data alone can lead to numerous sets of fitted parameters. On the otherhand, evaporation data (Hyprop apparatus ©) provide comparable datasets with X-μCT. Combining micro and macroscopic measurements allows us to validate X-μCT information, which is otherwise not so obvious. [less ▲]

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See detailSoil porosity in agricultural context: A review of measurement techniques at various scales
Garré, Sarah ULg; Chelin, Marie ULg; Luong, Jeanne ULg et al

Poster (2015, April 13)

Soil compaction was identified by European Commission as one of the eight main threats for agricultural soils. In order to address this issue, measurements of soil porosity are critical. However, there ... [more ▼]

Soil compaction was identified by European Commission as one of the eight main threats for agricultural soils. In order to address this issue, measurements of soil porosity are critical. However, there are as many techniques to measure as there are definitions of porosity. A single method is not sufficient to obtain a complete image of the soil porosity at various scales and encompassing different levels of complexity. Each existing method is characterized by a unique combination of a specific level of complexity, resolution and scale of measurement. In this review, we started by defining the basic terms linked to soil porosity in an agricultural context. Then we give an overview of relevant measurement techniques, from classical methods to recent advances. We present their advantages and disadvantages, the scales of measurement, the resolution, the expected accuracy and the susceptibility to errors. This work aims at guiding the choice for the best (combination of) technique(s) to answer questions related to agricultural soil porosity, categorizing techniques according to the parameters they focus on: from total porosity over pore size distribution, structure and connectivity up to the quantification of spatio-temporal dynamics. [less ▲]

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See detailGISER- Gestion intégrée Sol Erosion Ruissellement - rapport d'activités année 4
Demarcin, Pierre ULg; Dewez, Arnaud; Maugnard, Alexandre et al

Report (2015)

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See detailDétection de l'érosion dans un bassin versant agricole par comparaison d'images multidates acquises par drone
Lisein, Jonathan ULg; Pineux, Nathalie ULg; Pierrot-Deseilligny, marc et al

Scientific conference (2015, March 26)

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See detailSiltation and Pollution of Rivers in the Western Highlands of Cameroon: a Consequence of Farmland Erosion and Runoff
Djoukeng, Henri Grisseur ULg; Tankou, Christopher Mubeteneh; Degré, Aurore ULg

in International Journal of Agricultural Research and Reviews (2015), 3(3), 206-212

In the Western Highlands agro-ecological zone of Cameroon, rivers are constantly silted and polluted with eroded sediment and waste from cultivated land. This study characterizes and quantifies the amount ... [more ▼]

In the Western Highlands agro-ecological zone of Cameroon, rivers are constantly silted and polluted with eroded sediment and waste from cultivated land. This study characterizes and quantifies the amount of material coming from plots cultivated in the Méloh Watershed. In a natural rocky-bottomed well measuring 0.90 m deep, 3 m long, and 2.5 m wide, for a period of three years we performed the collection, differentiation, and measurement of trapped sediment in the cultivated part of river that runs through the watershed. Both cultivated sides of the watershed had fairly regular slopes of 14% on one side and 17% on the other side. The material retrieved consisted of soil, plant residues, chemical packages, and plastic casing used for irrigation. During the years 2012 and 2013, farmers practiced both flatbed cultivation and ridging along the steepest slopes. These two methods of land preparation are inefficient in terms of water conservation, as evidenced by the collection of 10.429 t.ha-1 average total sediment per year during this period. Tied ridging cultivation method was experimented during the 2013 crop year and adopted on 75% of plots in 2014. We subsequently collected 3.586 t.ha-1 total sediment, a decrease of 65.61% compared to the average of previous years. The tied ridging cultivation method significantly reduced siltation of the Méloh River (p<0.05). This study showed that traditional agricultural practices are a principal cause of siltation and pollution of the Méloh River. By extrapolation, we can state that the problem must occur in almost all rivers in the study area with similar topography and agricultural practices [less ▲]

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See detailComparison of soil water potential sensors
Degré, Aurore ULg; Cadwell, Todd; van der Ploeg, Martine

in Geophysical Research Abstracts (2015)

Temporal and spatial monitoring of soil water potential and soil water content are necessary for quantifying water flow in the domains of hydrology, soil science and crop production as knowledge of the ... [more ▼]

Temporal and spatial monitoring of soil water potential and soil water content are necessary for quantifying water flow in the domains of hydrology, soil science and crop production as knowledge of the soil water retention curve is important for solving Richards’ equation. Numerous measurement techniques exist nowadays that use various physical properties of the soil-water complex to record changes in soil water content or soil water potential. Laboratory techniques are very useful to determine static properties of the soil water retention curve, and have been used to show the impacts of hysteresis. Yet, other spatiotemporal dynamics resulting from for example growing root systems, biological activity, periodic tillage and their impact on the soil structure cannot satisfactory be quantified in static setups in the laboratory. ). To be able to quantify the influence of soil heterogeneity, and spatiotemporal dynamics on the soil water retention curve, an in situ approach combining soil moisture and soil water potential measurements could provide useful data. Such an in situ approach would require sensors that can measure a representative part of the soil water retention curve. The volumetric soil water content is often measured using time domain reflectometry, and has gained widespread acceptance as a standard electronic means of volumetric water content measurement. To measure the soil water potential, water filled tensiometers are used in most studies. Unfortunately, their range remains limited due to cavitation. Recently, several new sensors for use under in situ conditions have been proposed to cover a wider range of pressure head: Polymer tensiometers, MPS (Decagon) and pF-meter (ecoTech). In this study, we present the principles behind each measurement technique. Then we present the results of a fully controlled experiment where we compared two MPS sensors, two pF-meter sensors and two POT sensors in the same repacked soil. It allows us to discuss advantages and disadvantages of each method. A CS616 volumetric water content probe was installed to compare in situ measured retention curves with laboratory measured retention curves for each method. [less ▲]

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See detailImpact of stone content on soil moisture measurement with capacitive sensors 10HS (Decagon)
Deraedt, Deborah ULg; Bernard, Julien ULg; Biettlot, Louise ULg et al

in Geophysical Research Abstracts (2015), 17

Lot of soil survey focused on agricultural soils. For practical reasons, those soils have a low stone content. So, most of the soil water content sensors are placed on low stone content soils and the ... [more ▼]

Lot of soil survey focused on agricultural soils. For practical reasons, those soils have a low stone content. So, most of the soil water content sensors are placed on low stone content soils and the calibration equations are developed for them. Yet some researches take an interest in forest soils that are often much different from the previous ones. The differences lie in their stone content and their slope. Lots of studies have proved the importance of making soil specific calibration of the soil water content sensor. As our lab use regularly the 10HS sensors (Decagon Devices, United States) in forested soil, we decided to evaluate the importance of the stone content in the soil moisture measurement. The soil used for this experimentation comes from Gembloux (50◦33’54.9”N, 4◦42’11.3”E). It is silt that has been sieved at 2 mm to remove the gravel. The stones used to form the samples come from an experimental site located in the Belgian Ardennes (50◦1’52.6”N, 4◦53’22.5”E). They are mainly composed of schist with some quartz and sandstone elements. Initially, only five samples were constructed with three replications each. The size and the proportion of stones were the variables. Stones were classified in two groups, the first contains gravels whose size is less than 1,5 cm and a the second contains gravels whose size is comprised between 2 and 3 cm. The proportions of stone selected for the experiment are 0, 20 and 40%. In order to generate validation data, two more samples were constructed with intermediate proportion of stone content (30%). The samples were built in PVC container which dimensions are slightly bigger than the sensor volume of influence (1.1-1.3l). The soil samples were saturated and then dried on a thermal chamber set at about 32◦C. During at least 14 days, the samples soil water content was determined by the sensor measurement with the Procheck read-out system (Decagon Devices, United State) and by weighting the samples thrice a day. The evolution of the soil sample height was monitored as well. As first result, the stone content is a parameter that seems to influence soil water content. The stone size is no important. Because soil moisture deserves to be measured accurately in every soil and to confirm the first results the experiment is going on with more samples, different stone proportions, other sensor positioning and a natural air drying. [less ▲]

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See detailTransposability of pedotransfer functions for estimating water retention of Algerian soils
Touil, Sami; Degré, Aurore ULg; Chabaca, Mohamed Nacer

in Desalination and Water Treatment (2015)

Testing the efficiency of a pedotransfer function (PTF) outside of its development data-set is one of the best ways for assessing its robustness. An important question which remains unanswered is how ... [more ▼]

Testing the efficiency of a pedotransfer function (PTF) outside of its development data-set is one of the best ways for assessing its robustness. An important question which remains unanswered is how transposable are PTFs to other agropedoclimatic contexts? Models developed and validated in a particular pedoclimatic context have been relatively little tested in other contexts. Particularly, no studies have been conducted until now to evaluate the PTFs for Algerian soils. In this study, eight (8) PTFs most frequently cited were considered. We used them to evaluate soil water retention at field capacity (FC) and wilting point (WP) on a set of 134 samples collected in the low Cheliff. The calculated Akaike information criterion and root mean square errors values showed that the Rawls, and Ghorbani Dashtaki et Homaee type 1 models were the best in estimation of soil water retention at FC (–709.795, 0.070 cm3 cm−3) and WP (–733.480, 0.064 cm3 cm−3). The poorer performances were presented by the PTFs developed on soils from Europe or United States where the organic matter values were much higher than the Algerian soils. However, the transposability of the PTFs formed from data spread from a wider area, produce more accurate predictions than those built from local data. [less ▲]

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See detailDiachronical soil surveys: a way to quantify long term diffuse erosion
Pineux, Nathalie ULg; Michel, Brieuc ULg; Legrain, Xavier ULg et al

in Geophysical Research Abstracts (2015), 17

The loess belt of Western Europe is a high-risk area regarding diffuse erosion. It is due to the climate and the topography but also to the soil type. Loamy soils are naturally highly sensitive to diffuse ... [more ▼]

The loess belt of Western Europe is a high-risk area regarding diffuse erosion. It is due to the climate and the topography but also to the soil type. Loamy soils are naturally highly sensitive to diffuse erosion. Hence, these soils are very fertile. So, they are intensively cultivated which increases their sensitivity to erosion. Sheet erosion is an erosion type strongly represented in these regions. Contrarily to the concentrated form of erosion which happens more brutally, sheet erosion needs long-term observation time-scales, which remains rare. In Belgium, a soil map was established in 1956. This map is quite detailed and notably informs about the different horizons which are in the profile (ploughed horizon, eluvial horizon, clay included between the horizons, carbonate-free loess horizon, and all these were characterised by drainage class) and their depth. It was based on a dense augering network across the country (one point every 75 meters). A new augering campaign was done again in 2014. It consisted in one observation every 50 meters on an agricultural watershed of 124 hectares located in the centre of Belgium. This catchment has been cultivated since the 14th century and is representative of the local context (gentle slope (3-8%), plot size (mean value of 10 ha), …). We compared the two soil maps produced on this site with a 58years time lapse. Results show that the large majority of the watershed falls from upslope soils with weak erosion to slope soils with strong erosion. The soil thickness diminished in some zones to 1m10 (minimum estimation) of erosion. This comparison shows that very few upslope soils are preserved. On the other hand, the areas where colluviums were present to the full depth stay at the same place in the main thalweg of the watershed. Other areas on the watershed seem to be subject to a (minimum estimation) of 40cm of sediments deposition. Large areas in the watershed suffered from erosion and came to deposition areas as the clay horizon is no longer observed under the colluviums. It can be highlighted that soil depths were worryingly lost during 58 years of tillage and that some soils were converted to colluviums which is of lower agronomical quality than the original soils which had a clay horizon below to keep water. Diachronical soil survey offers an unique insight of long term diffuse erosion and should demonstrate the importance of preserving soils even in regions where agricultural yields are not (yet) affected by erosion. [less ▲]

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See detailContact resistance problems applying ERT on low bulk density forested stony soils Is there a solution?
Deraedt, Deborah ULg; Touzé, Camille; Robert, Tanguy et al

in Geophysical Research Abstracts (2015), 17

Electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) has often been put forward as a promising tool to quantify soil water and solute fluxes in a non-invasive way. In our experiment, we wanted to determine ... [more ▼]

Electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) has often been put forward as a promising tool to quantify soil water and solute fluxes in a non-invasive way. In our experiment, we wanted to determine preferential flow processes along a forested hillslope using a saline tracer with ERT. The experiment was conducted in the Houille watershed, subcatchment of the Meuse located in the North of Belgian Ardennes (50˚1’52.6”N, 4˚53’22.5”E). The climate is continental but the soil under spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) and Douglas fire stand (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) remains quite dry (19% WVC in average) during the whole year. The soil is Cambisol and the parent rock is Devonian schist covered with variable thickness of silty loam soil. The soil density ranges from 1.13 to 1.87 g/cm3 on average. The stone content varies from 20 to 89% and the soil depth fluctuates between 70 and 130 cm. The ERT tests took place on June 1st 2012, April 1st, 2nd and 3rd 2014 and May 12th 2014. We used the Terrameter LS 12 channels (ABEM, Sweden) in 2012 test and the DAS-1 (Multi-Phase Technologies, United States) in 2014. Different electrode configurations and arrays were adopted for different dates (transect and grid arrays and Wenner – Schlumberger, Wenner alpha and dipole-dipole configurations). During all tests, we systematically faced technical problems, mainly related to bad electrode contact. The recorded data show values of contact resistance above 14873 Ω (our target value would be below 3000 Ω). Subsequently, we tried to improve the contact by predrilling the soil and pouring water in the electrode holes. The contact resistance improved to 14040 Ω as minimum. The same procedure with liquid mud was then tested to prevent quick percolation of the water from the electrode location. As a result, the lower contact resistance dropped to 11745 Ω. Finally, we applied about 25 litre of saline solution (CaCl2, 0.75g/L) homogeneously on the electrode grid. The minimum value of contact resistance reduced to 5222 Ω. This improved the contact resistance substantially, but complicates the execution of a pulse tracer experiment. To date we did not find any better solution to this problem and we keep searching a way to improve the contact resistance in stony forested soils with very low bulk density. We would like to exchange on these questions with EGU attendees in order to improve the experimental design or point out a new research path for these specific conditions. This could lead to enhance the use of ERT in soils with low density and high stone content. [less ▲]

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See detailInternational assessment of future low flow regimes and their impact on three water related sectors in the Meuse basin – a collaborative approach
Bauwens, Alexandra; Degré, Aurore ULg; Deraedt, Deborah ULg et al

in International Journal of River Basin Management (2015), 13(1), 123-135

There is a wide recognition of the watershed scale as the right scale for global water management, notably in the context of the WFD. Hence, it often refers to international management and therefore to ... [more ▼]

There is a wide recognition of the watershed scale as the right scale for global water management, notably in the context of the WFD. Hence, it often refers to international management and therefore to various pre-existing regional management tools, models or even objectives. In this study we aim at describing the collaborative assessment of climate change’s effect on low flow regime and the consequences on three water related sectors: drinking water production, agriculture and electricity production. The paper highlights the choices that were made during the study that involved scientific teams, managers and stakeholders from the four main countries of the Meuse Basin. It shows that the methodological choices were operational and aimed at preserving existing methods and knowledge within each country. They led to hydrological scenarios comparable to the main available ensemble approaches and to methodologies well accepted within the concerned countries. The results of the project highlight and quantify the water scarcity that the three sectors will have to face by the end of the century mainly regarding the electricity production. They also show that common allocation rules are necessary to manage water demand during future low flow periods. [less ▲]

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See detailDoes the cover crop residue management affect the soil water availability for plants?
Chelin, Marie ULg; Parvin, Nargish ULg; Hiel, Marie-Pierre ULg et al

Poster (2014, December 05)

Hydraulic processes and soil storage capacity may be affected by the crop residue management. Thus, a better understanding of the spatial and temporal distribution of water as a consequence of different ... [more ▼]

Hydraulic processes and soil storage capacity may be affected by the crop residue management. Thus, a better understanding of the spatial and temporal distribution of water as a consequence of different tillage methods is needed. The distribution of soil water content is basically studied thanks to soil moisture sensors such as time domain reflectometry (TDR) probes. However, this method requires the disturbance of the soil and only provides local information. Comparatively, electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) slightly alters the soil structure. It has been considered as a proxy to assess the spatial and temporal variability of the soil water content. This study aims at assessing whether and to which extent the crop residue management influences soil water dynamics and the water availability for maize. Water content will be monitored from March to October 2014, under three crop residue managements: conventional tillage realized in the end of autumn, conventional tillage realized just before sowing, and strip tillage. A bare soil under conventional tillage will also be monitored so as to better understand the influence of the plant over the growing season. So as to better understand the dynamics of water in the soil-water-continuum, the influence of the crop residue management on the soil structure and the plant development will also be investigated. The soil water pattern will be daily monitored on a surface of two square meters through surface stainless steel electrodes, corresponding to three rows of seven maize plants. Five additional sticks with buried electrodes will be setup to get more detailed information near to the maize row. For each of the monitored zone, two TDR probes will help validating the data. In order to calibrate the relationship between electrical resistivity and soil water content, a dig will be dug, in which a set of four electrodes, one TDR probe and one temperature sensor will be placed at four different depths. Two suction cups placed on each of the monitoring zone will help getting the electrical conductivity of the soil solution. [less ▲]

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See detailPollution and Siltation of Rivers in the Western Highlands of Cameroon: a Consequence of Farmland Erosion by Runoff
Djoukeng, Henri Grisseur ULg; Tankou, Christopher Mubeteneh; Degré, Aurore ULg

in ASABE, (Ed.) 21st Century Watershed Technology Conference and Workshop: Improving water quality and environment: Hamilton 3-7 November 2014 (2014, November 03)

In the western highlands agro-ecological zone of Cameroon, rivers are constantly silted and polluted with waste from cultivated plots. This study investigated on the characterization and quantification of ... [more ▼]

In the western highlands agro-ecological zone of Cameroon, rivers are constantly silted and polluted with waste from cultivated plots. This study investigated on the characterization and quantification of sediment from plots cultivated in the watershed Méloh; among these sediment we highlighted soil, plant residues, chemical packages and plastic casing used for irrigation. In a natural rocky bottom wells, we performed for a period of three years the collection, differentiation and measurement of trapped sediment in the cultivated part of river that runs through the watershed. The total cultivated area is about 7.5 ha; slopes are operated between 14% and 17%. During the years 2012 and 2013 where farmers practiced both flatbed and ridging along the steepest slope, two methods of land preparation that do not contribute positively to water conservation, we collected an average of 10.429 t.ha-1. During the 2013 crop year, with the participation of curious farmers we experimented tied ridging in a potato; this technique was adopted on 75% of plots in 2014 and we collected 3.586 t.ha-1, a decrease of 65.61% compared to the average of previous years. This study showed that traditional agricultural practices are a cause of siltation and pollution of the Méloh river, thus almost all rivers in the study area by what the topography is similar and agriculture the main activity. Tied ridging significantly reduced siltation of rivers; it is thus an effective technique to fight against water pollution in mountain agriculture. [less ▲]

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See detailCharacterization of stream - aquifer interaction in carbonate rocks
Briers, Pierre ULg; Sohier, Catherine ULg; Schmit, Flore et al

Poster (2014, September 30)

Groundwater - surface water interactions play a fundamental role in terms of quantity and quality of water and in terms of ecological quality of rivers. Despite many research efforts and the necessity to ... [more ▼]

Groundwater - surface water interactions play a fundamental role in terms of quantity and quality of water and in terms of ecological quality of rivers. Despite many research efforts and the necessity to better understand such interactions in order to reach effective management of water resources, stream-aquifer exchanges remain poorly understood, in particular in fractured carbonate environments. [less ▲]

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See detailDétection de l'érosion dans un bassin versant agricole par comparaison d'images multidates acquises par drone
Lisein, Jonathan ULg; Pineux, Nathalie ULg; Pierrot-Deseilligny, Marc et al

Conference (2014, June 26)

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See detailSoil infrastructure evolution and its effect on water transfer processes under contrasted tillage systems - overview of methodologies with preliminary results
Parvin, Nargish ULg; Colinet, Gilles ULg; Garré, Sarah ULg et al

Conference (2014, June 10)

The heterogeneity of soil structure and porosity are highly influenced by external factors like tillage systems and other land management approaches. The aim of this project is to investigate the effect ... [more ▼]

The heterogeneity of soil structure and porosity are highly influenced by external factors like tillage systems and other land management approaches. The aim of this project is to investigate the effect of soil tillage along with residue management on the changing pattern of soil structure. This investigation will help to emphasize the different water flow dynamics especially the preferential flow processes through the soil that are influenced by the changes in structural distribution in the soil profile. The experimentation has been started from June 2013 in the research field in Gembloux. Soil profile description together with soil sampling has been carried out in the four objects of land management. Soil samples will be used for the measurement of water retention capacity (done), hydraulic conductivity and x-ray microtomography. The assessment of soil water retention curves with pressure plate technique show significantly (p<0.05) higher water retention (Hwr) in WP than ST at 9.8 to 98 hPa, Hwr in WP than NI at 39 to 14710 hPa, Hwr in ST than NI at 294 to 14710 hPa and Hwr in WP than NO at 69 to 98 hPa. There was no significant difference in the water retention between NO and NI and ST and NO. Since, tillage practices generally increase soil porosity, the correlation between soil hydraulics and porosity distribution would expect to be different for different tillage systems. In our study, WP retains more water due to the increase of macroporosity than ST, NI and NO. As the changes in soil structure are usually noticed in the range of 9.8 to 98 hPa, so, we can conclude that there is certainly structural change between WP and conservation practices of ST, NI and NO. In our study, there will be also soil moisture sensors (Decagon 10HS, 5TM and ML3 Thetaprobe) to capture the total soil moisture networks in the field under four different trials. The soils from the different trials and also from different depths (0-15, 25-30 and 50-60 cm) were used for zone specific calibration of the sensors. All the experiments will be repeated twice a year. For the specific spatio-temporal comparison, the monitoring results from electrical resistance tomography will be available from the collaborated project of the same faculty. [less ▲]

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See detailImproving soil conservation through an adapted tillage: experience from the cultivation of potatoes in Bamiléké's hills of Cameroon
Djoukeng, Henri Grisseur ULg; Tankou, Christopher Mubeteneh; Degré, Aurore ULg

Poster (2014, May 14)

The western highlands of Cameroon are an area where the population density and growth rates are the highest in the country. In this region, the main activity is agriculture, and rivers are the main source ... [more ▼]

The western highlands of Cameroon are an area where the population density and growth rates are the highest in the country. In this region, the main activity is agriculture, and rivers are the main source of safe drinking water. Lacks of arable land and especially against very complex land tenure, farmers are increasingly exploiting the hills (9-30 % slope) for the production of vegetable crops, mainly potatoes. The methods of preparation of soil found there are ridging in the direction of the slope and the culture dish. These practices promote erosion by runoff, generally compromises the multiple functions of agriculture, and in particular the environmental function (soil degradation, pollution and silting up of rivers) and the production function (incomes). In order to ensure soil stability and maintain good water quality of rivers, we put it up a new way of preparing the ground: the tied ridging. To quantify the effectiveness of the latter, we conducted tests of erosion by runoff with Wischmeier’s plots on the most exploited slopes, namely 11% and 29%. The run-off water and sediments were collected per plot and per block after every rain. The first analyses show that there is a significant difference between the culture dish or ridging along the slope and tied ridging. The major constraint of this practice lies in the increase of about 17% of the labor. Tied ridging reported losses in average land 16% lower compared with the ridging in the direction of the slope and 22% compared with the culture dish, he also presented higher yields of 65 % compared with the culture dish and the ridging in the direction of the slope. Despite the hardship, the test results have convinced the participants and some curious farmers which have adopted the technology during the next growing season. [less ▲]

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See detailModeling using the SWAT model of water flow and transport in suspension in the watershed of the valley of Wadi El-Hachem
Tadrist, Nassima ULg; DEBAUCHE, OLIVIER ULg; Degré, Aurore ULg et al

Poster (2014, May 12)

In the Maghreb, dams regularly suffer from excessive siltation due to erosion problems present in the catchment areas. The origins of this erosion are multiple: land use, deforestation, land affectation ... [more ▼]

In the Maghreb, dams regularly suffer from excessive siltation due to erosion problems present in the catchment areas. The origins of this erosion are multiple: land use, deforestation, land affectation , ... Hydrology coupled with geographic information systems allows using distributed and physically based models to predict the evolution of siltation of dams. The application of these models in Algeria will finally predict the impact of anti-erosion measures, land use patterns on the siltation of dams accurately estimating the amount of sediment produced by erosion runoff and the degree of filling. A methodology based on the map data (digital terrain model, map soil science, geology map and mapping of land use) and daily meteorological data (temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, solar radiation) is being development and testing of the dam Bourkourdane. The SWAT model is used to predict the amount of sediment accumulating in the dam, the water flow rate inbound, outbound, and the volumes of water and sediment stored in the dam. Adequate management of releases, coupled with better management of erosion upstream of the dam will extend the life of dams Algerians. Especially for Boukourdane, improved management of releases is paramount to improve groundwater recharge, fight against the intrusion of marine waters and prevent the accumulation of fine particles that reduce soil permeability. [less ▲]

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See detailCoupling X-ray microtomography and macroscopic soil measurements: a method to enhance near saturation functions?
Beckers, Eléonore ULg; Plougonven, Erwan; Gigot, Nicolas et al

in Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (2014), 18

Agricultural management practices influence soil structure, but the characterization of these modifications and consequences are still not completely understood. In this study, we aim at improving water ... [more ▼]

Agricultural management practices influence soil structure, but the characterization of these modifications and consequences are still not completely understood. In this study, we aim at improving water retention and hydraulic conductivity curves using both classical soil techniques and X-ray microtomography in the context of tillage simplification. We show a good match for retention and conductivity functions between macroscopic measurements and microtomographic information. Microtomography highlights the presence of a secondary pore system. Analysis of structural parameters for these pores appears to be significant and offers additional clues for objects differentiation. We show that relatively fast scans supply not only good results, but also enhance near saturation characterization, making microtomography a highly competitive instrument for routine soil characterization. [less ▲]

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