# Lecture 8: Soils and Percolation

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1 Lecture 8: Soils and Percolation Key Questions 1. How does grain size control percolation? 2. What is hydraulic conductivity? 3. How do soils affect runoff? 4. How does rain on snow affect runoff? New Western logo

2 Infiltration is the movement of water INTO the soil surface infiltration

3 Percolation is the movement of water WITHIN the soil matrix. percolation

4 Percolation rate controls the infiltration rate infiltration percolation

5 Percolation in soils is primarily due to gravity pulling the water vertically downward gravity pulls

6 The rate of percolation is controlled by grain size

7 friction along the grain surfaces will resist water flow

8 The drag force (F d ) acting on a grain falling through liquid is initiated by the frictional interaction between the fluid and the grain. the grain reaches a constant velocity

9 The drag force acting on a falling raindrop tends to flatten it into a disc shape raindrop

10 During percolation, the grains are fixed, but water is flowing past them, which produces the same drag force. friction along the grain surfaces will resist water flow

11 Stream-Flow Analogy highest stream velocity lowest stream velocity energy lost due to friction along the stream channel

12 Stream-Flow Analogy Equivalent stream-channel volumes. Which one has the lower velocity? Why?

13 Pipe Flow low velocity high velocity energy lost due to friction along the pipe surface

14 Which one has the higher friction loss? Why?

15 Water Flow in Porous Media Pore space between grains grain grain friction along grain higher water velocity lower water velocity

16 The amount of friction along grain boundaries depends on the surface area of the sediment reducing a grains diameter (D) by half, increases surface area by four surface area of a sphere = πd 2

17 Assuming spherical sediments, the surface area per a 1 cm 3 volume of spheres is given as SA v = 6/D where D = grain diameter 1 cm 3

18 gravel having grain diameters of 4.0 mm SA v = 15 cm 2 per cm 3

19 sand having grain diameters of 0.4 mm SA v = 150 cm 2 per cm 3

20 silt having grain diameters of 0.04 mm SA v = 1500 cm 2 per cm 3

21 1 gram of smectite clay has 8,000,000 cm 2 of surface area or 3.5 grams of smectite clay has the surface area of a football field! scanning electron microscope image of clay diameter cm

22 The hydraulic conductivity (K) is a measure of the sediments ability to transmit fluid. It s magnitude is controlled by the grain size (or pore size) which determines the amount of frictional resistance and the area available for flow. The units of hydraulic conductivity are length per time (e.g., cm/s)

23 Smaller grains, means smaller pores, more frictional resistance, and lower hydraulic conductivity

24 lower hydraulic conductivity means lower percolation rate Sand K 1 x 10-3 cm/s Silt K 1 x 10-6 cm/s

25 low hydraulic conductivity means low infiltration rate infiltration percolation

26 high hydraulic conductivity means high infiltration rate infiltration percolation

27 Soils with smaller clasts also have greater water holding capacity (stronger capillary forces) clay sand silt

28 watershed Q Hydrograph Q Q = stream discharge Time

29 sandy soils silt and clay soils Hydrograph Hydrograph Q attenuated response Q rapid high peak response Time Time

30 Hydrograph Q very rapid high peak response Impervious surfaces in urban settings don t allow any infiltration, hence very rapid surface runoff Time

31 Water flows to both sides and across Squalicum Parkway near the intersection with Roeder Avenue on Wednesday, January 7, 2009

32 The frost line is 4 to 6 feet in Minnesota Hydrograph Q very rapid high peak response Frozen soils don t allow any infiltration, hence very rapid surface runoff Time

33

34 Fargo North Dakota: March 13,

35 thick, dry soils can store a lot of rain, hence produce less runoff (if they are dry to begin with) Hydrograph Q Time

36 thin soils saturate quicker, hence produce more runoff Hydrograph Q Time

37 soils near saturation produce more runoff Hydrograph Q Time

38 water can flow through the soils toward a stream Hydrograph Q Time

39 Hydrograph Q very rapid response bedrock surfaces in mountain settings have low infiltration rates, hence very rapid surface runoff Time

40 Flood Statistics Up to 15 inches of rain fell with an average of 10 inches over 60 square miles. Rapid City South Dakota, 1972 Flash Flood Peak flow on Rapid Creek 50,600 cubic feet per second...more than 10 times greater than the previous flood of record. During the flood, water rose as fast as 3.5 feet in 15 minutes. 238 people killed. 3,000 people injured. 1,335 homes destroyed. 5,000 automobiles destroyed. \$160 million in total damages (1972 dollars, \$644 million in 2002 dollars). 15 of the 23 bridges over Rapid Creek were destroyed.

41 Rain on Snow Early winter snow packs are relatively warm. Warm rains release heat into the snowapck causing some snow to melt, which will produce more runoff. Hydrograph Q runoff Time

42 Q no snow pack so rain falls on exposed bedrock and thin, wet soils Q snow pack Hydrograph Hydrograph Q more volume, longer duration, but less peaked Q Time Time

43 Soil Coverage (USDA)

44 Soil Depth (estimated)

45 North Shore MET Station Smith Creek Stream Gauge

46 1.2 inches of rain in 24 hours Smith Creek Hydrograph, May 8--16, 2000 Discharge (cfs) Time (hr)

47 1.2 inches of rain in 24 hours Smith Creek Hydrograph, Sept 7--22, Discharge (cfs) Time (hr)

48 Smith Creek Stream Gauge 1.2 inches of rain in 24 hours Discharge (cfs) Smith Creek Hydrograph, Sept 7--22, Time (hr) Smith Creek Hydrograph, May 8--16, 2000 Discharge (cfs) Time (hr)

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