Influence of Loess Interlayer Thickness on Water Transport in Sand
Chao Wu 1,2
Yinli Bi 1,2,3
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Institute of Ecological Environment Restoration in Mine Areas of West China, Xi’an University of Science and Technology, Xi’an 710054, China
College of Geology and Environment, Xi’an University of Science and Technology, Xi’an 710054, China
Institute of Mine Ecological Restoration, China University of Mining and Technology (Beijing), Beijing 100083, China
Yinli Bi   

Xi'an University of Science and Technology, China
Submission date: 2021-10-29
Final revision date: 2022-01-22
Acceptance date: 2022-01-27
Online publication date: 2022-05-02
Publication date: 2022-06-20
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2022;31(4):3317–3325
The texture of the soil profile determines the movement and distribution of soil water and also affects plant growth and development. Most studies have focused on the movement of water in homogeneous or layered soil profiles such as coarse sand or gravel as a capillary barrier. Few studies have used loess as an interlayer of sand to study the water distribution characteristics of soil profiles. Here, a layered sand-loess-sand soil profile was constructed in indoor soil columns to explore the effects of different thicknesses of loess interlayer (0, 10 and 20 cm) on water transport. The advancing height of the sand wetting front followed a power function with time in different loess interlayer thickness treatments and the loess interlayer promoted the advancing height of the wetting front. Loess interlayer treatment significantly increased the soil volumetric water content in the corresponding treatment layer (40-60 cm). The thicker the loess interlayer the higher the soil volumetric water content. After two months of soil drainage the volumetric water content in the treatment layer (40-60 cm) corresponding to the loess interlayer treatment did not decline but the control declined by 1.36%. These results may provide a scientific basis and theoretical support for the artificial reconstruction of soil profiles in arid and semi-arid coal mining areas to optimize sand moisture content.