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International Journal of Environment Science and Technology
Center for Environment and Energy Research and Studies (CEERS)
ISSN: 1735-1472
EISSN: 1735-2630
Vol. 6, No. 3, 2009, pp. 379-388
Bioline Code: st09042
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

International Journal of Environment Science and Technology, Vol. 6, No. 3, 2009, pp. 379-388

 en Transfer of moisture through the unsaturated zone in the tropical forest using the neutron probe
Fouépé, A. T.; Kengni, L.; Gurunadha Rao, V. V. S. & Ndam, J. R.


Knowledge of moisture content is crucial in assessing spatial and temporal movement of water through the unsaturated zone. Moisture storage is also important for monitoring the soil water balance and for validation of water balance models. The purpose of this work was to determine and analyse moisture content profiles at point locations in the unsaturated zone of a lateritic soil around Nsimi, south of Cameroon. Neutron probe has been connected to a set of tensiometers in an area of 60 ha. A comparative study between a site covered with vegetation and a site uncovered was conducted to assess the influence of vegetation in the process of moisture transfers. The results showed that the spatial distribution of moisture profiles varied according to the site and the texture of the soil, with in general increasing of moisture from the surface horizon toward the deeper layers. The mean values of moisture varied from θm= 0,397 cm3/cm3 on barren site, against θm= 0,429 cm3/cm3 in vegetation. Values of suction were generally strong in surface and at depth, but weak in the intermediate layers.

Barren soil; Calibration; Lateritic soil; Neutron probe; Tensiometer

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