Browsing by Author "Stander, McLachlan Du Toit"
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- ItemAn investigation into the influence of soil pattern on preferential flow and groundwater recharge in fractured bedrock and cover sand aquifers(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2011-12) Stander, McLachlan Du Toit; Rozanov, Andrei Borisovich; Jovanovic, N.; Ellis, F.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of AgriSciences. Dept. of Soil Science.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Increased pressure on groundwater sources due to increased population size and threats of climate change is driving research to better understand the process of aquifer recharge. Soil pattern is of interest as it serves to partition rainwater into different flowpaths destined for surface runoff, evapotranspiration and deep percolation. The challenges inherent to studying these flowpaths are almost universal as uncertainties concerning spatial and temporal heterogeneity in catchments make the upscaling of models complex. This research addresses these challenges as it aims to improve the catchment scale hydrological models of two aquifer systems: One a fractured bedrock system at the Kogelberg Nature Reserve, Kleinmond, and the other a cover sand system in Riverlands Nature Reserve, Malmesbury. This study focussed on strengthening the link between what is known about a given soil form and the hydrological assumptions that can be drawn from that classification, and formulating the results so that they may ultimately be used to calibrate the recharge prediction models for the respective catchments. The research was done in two parts: The first phase was to conduct soil surveys in both reserves during which soils were classified according to South African Soil Classification. Samples were collected at representative observation points which provided textural data for use in pedotransfer functions (PTFs). These PTFs were used to estimate plant available water (PAW) and hydraulic conductivity (K) for the observed profiles. Infiltration experiments were subsequently done to investigate the infiltration patterns of distinctly different soil forms at two sites from each reserve. The experiments included double ring and mini disc infiltration, volumetric water content determination and flow path visualisation using a staining dye. A statistical comparison between the hydrological properties (K and PAW) of the different soil forms suggest that hydraulic properties differed between the deep sandy soil forms (Fernwood, Pinegrove and Witfontein in Kogelberg and Witfontein, Concordia and Lamotte in Riverlands) and the shallow rocky soil forms (Cartref and Glenrosa in Kogelberg). Thus grouping of hydrological similar units (HSUs) could be done on the basis of the soil forms present within the given catchments. The infiltration study showed that shallow, rocky soils that grade into bedrock would have infiltration rates far greater than those estimated using PTFs in Kogelberg. This is due to the prevalence of continuous preferential flow (PF) of water between coarse fragments in these profiles. Recharge estimates would thus be inaccurate in such soils and calibration using locally derived data is recommended. On the contrary, PTFs produced accurate infiltration estimates relative to measured infiltration rates in deep sandy soils in Kogelberg and Riverlands. The Lamotte soil form is an example of such a soil form. It should however be noted that an increase in PF in these soils had subsequently higher K values than estimated, thus illustrating the link between PF and accelerated infiltration rates. These results confirm that using soil survey information, in the form of a soil map, and calibrated hydrological properties, one can delineate HSUs that encompass a large degree of heterogeneity in a given catchment.