Spatial analysis of infiltration in an oxisol of the eastern plains of Colombia

Helber Milton Orjuela-Matta1, Yolanda Rubiano Sanabria2, and Jesus Hernan Camacho-Tamayo3*

Studies that involve soil attributes variability help the analysis of the behavior of hydrophysical attributes in space, to support the decision-making process within the conception of precision agriculture. The aim of the present paper was to characterize the spatial variability of the surface infiltration and its relation to some soil physical attributes. The sampling was done with a rectangular mesh of 64 points with perpendicular distances of 52 m × 45 m between sampling points. The attributes studied were bulk density, contents of sand, silt and clay, soil moisture, cumulative infiltration, basic infiltration, sorptivity, and saturated hydraulic conductivity (KS). Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and geostatistics, identifying the relationship between attributes, using the Pearson correlation and cluster analysis. Results suggest a behavior of parameters close to normal, attributes related to soil water movement had greater variability, with low basic infiltration (1.46 cm h-1) and Ks (0.80 cm h-1), which together with high values of bulk density (1.87 g cm-3) show limitations by compaction. Cumulative infiltration and KS attributes did not fit to models of spatial distribution, finding ranges of 150 m for the other attributes, distance to optimize future sampling for the study of spatial variability. Pearson correlation and cluster analysis allowed establishing relationships between soil attributes; spatial relationships were corroborated in contour maps, where we observed the influence of clay and sand content in the behavior of bulk density, and the influence of these attributes in processes of water infiltration into the soil.

Keywords: Geostatistics, hydraulic conductivity, infiltration, sorptivity.
1Universidad de Cundinamarca, Facultad de Ciencias Agropecuarias, Sede Fusagasugá, Colombia.
2Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Facultad de Agronomía, Sede Bogotá, Colombia.
3Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Facultad de Ingeniería, Sede Bogotá. Ciudad Universitaria, Ed. 214, Of. 304, Bogotá, Colombia. *Corresponding author (jhcamachot@unal.edu.co).