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International Journal of Soil Science
  Year: 2011 | Volume: 6 | Issue: 1 | Page No.: 1-11
DOI: 10.3923/ijss.2011.1.11
 
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The use of Porous Ceramic Cups for Sampling Soil Pore Water from the Unsaturated Zone

E.M. Curley, M.G. O`Flynn and K.P. McDonnell

Abstract:
Gaining knowledge of solute concentration and movement is one of the many keys to understanding the response of agricultural ecosystems to would-be pollutants. Monitoring the leaching of pollutants throughout the unsaturated zone is an important means of identifying the potential for groundwater contamination. Water solute monitoring and data collection, at present, can be obtained using either, in situ solute collection or via geophysical measurement. As data collated from the latter often requires support from knowledge gathered using in situ solute collection, this review evaluates the most common method for in situ solute extraction- the ceramic cup method. Ceramic cups are widely used for the extraction of soil pore water for monitoring of solute transport and concentration. This method offers the potential to simultaneously sample soil water at different depths in the soil profile to record the sequence of solute progress. The installation of the ceramic cup sampler into the soil profile is relatively easy when compared to other sampling techniques and causes only negligible disturbance of the soil, coupled with cost-effectiveness and the knowledge obtained makes them the most universally used technique for extracting soil water. However, the use of this system is not without problems. The spatial variability of the properties under investigation is often underestimated requiring clarification by replication. The matter of inherent bias in preferentially monitoring nutrient composition and flow of soil water in profile macropores is acknowledged and the associated possible alteration of the water sample. This study reviews the suitability of the ceramic cup as an experimental aid for the retrieval of soil solution samples for analysis and the issues associated with its use.
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How to cite this article:

E.M. Curley, M.G. O`Flynn and K.P. McDonnell, 2011. The use of Porous Ceramic Cups for Sampling Soil Pore Water from the Unsaturated Zone. International Journal of Soil Science, 6: 1-11.

DOI: 10.3923/ijss.2011.1.11

URL: https://scialert.net/abstract/?doi=ijss.2011.1.11

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