Vadose Zone Hydrology

An understanding of vadose zone hydrology is important for irrigation design and management as well as protecting water quality. Spatial variability in soil properties such as available water capacity and hydraulic conductivity affect the processes of infiltration, runoff, and deep percolation. Nonpoint source pollution from agricultural lands is a significant cause of environmental degradation in groundwater, streams, lakes, and oceans. An improved knowledge of the mechanisms of nutrient fate and transport will help inform best management practices.

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