Spatial and temporal dynamics of air permeability in a constructed field

Tjalfe G. Poulsen*, Bo V. Iversen, Toshiko Yamaguchi, Per Moldrup, Per Schjønning

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Soil air permeability in undisturbed soil is closely related to soil structure and heterogeneity and hydraulic properties. Knowledge of air permeability behavior for different types of soils is, therefore, valuable. In this study, we investigated the variability and spatial correlation structure of soil air permeability and soil textural properties in an undisturbed constructed field at Hiroshima University, Hiroshima, Japan. Air permeability was measured on undisturbed soil samples along two 70-m-long transects in the top 10 cm of a field constructed approximately 20 years ago from sandy loam soil collected from a nearby mountain. Air permeability (ka) showed spatial correlation along both transects, with a range of approximately 20 m. Measurements of ka on large (3140 cm3) samples were similar, showing a soil with little small-scale heterogeneity. Local-scale measurements of ka within a 1.6- by 1.6-m grid taken 4 months after the transect sampling suggested that soil structure and pore size distribution had changed significantly over time, as a result of tilling and precipitation, causing an increase in ka. No spatial drift in soil physical parameters within the 1.6- by 1.6-m grid was found. On-site ka measurements after 1- to 2-day rainy periods compared well with laboratory measurements at a soil-water potential of-100 cm H2O, suggesting that natural field capacity occurs at this potential. Measurements of ka as a function of air-filled porosity (ε) at the mid-point of the two transects were compared with predictions by two recently presented ka (ε) models, and good agreement between simulated values and measurements was found.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-162
Number of pages10
JournalSoil Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Air permeability
  • Air-filled porosity
  • Predictive models
  • Spatial correlation
  • Undisturbed soil

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