Soil Moisture Characteristics of Humid Tropical Soils of the Southern Part of Rivers State Nigeria

Authors : Orji, O. A.; Iruene, T.

Volume/Issue : Volume 8 - 2023, Issue 10 - October

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Soil moisture characteristics data are extremely valuable tools for describing and managing water storage and flow transport in soils, as well as informing climate-smart agricultural courses and practices. Saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks), aggregate size distribution, mean weight diameter (MWD), soil moisture characteristic curve (SMCC) and other indices of soil structure were estimated for soils of the 8 Local Government Areas (Akuku-Toru, Degema, Gokhana, Khana, Ogu-Bolo, Okrika, Oyigbo and Tai) in the South of Rivers State Nigeria. Core samples were taken from across the 8 LGAs in triplicates at 0-5, 5-10, 10-15 and 15-20cm depths along with bulk samples at 0- 10cm and 10-20cm depths. The high spatial variability of these soils of the same terrain, were evidenced in the high coefficient of variation (CV) values in all parameters measured; with the exception of % of sand across all areas sampled. The soils were generally sandy loam to sand. Bulk density values ranged between 1.17 to 1.74gcm-3 at the 0-10cm depth, with a CV of 12.8% across locations. Ks values were generally moderate (2.5x10-3 to 9.9 x 10-4 cmsec-1 ) with a CV of 91.8 to 109.7% across locations and depth. Degema, Okrika and Tai soils had significantly higher aggregate stability as indicated by the MWD, with 43.5 to 46.1% of their aggregates being >3.5mm in diameter size; when compared with the other locations. SMCC showed that moisture content at the field capacity (50cm suction) varied significantly across both locations and depths, with CV values between 49.0 to 71.0%. At the 0.1bar suction, the volumetric moisture contents were in the order 0.030, 0.020, 0.020, 0.020, 0.012, 0.010, 0.010 and 0.002cm3 cm-3 for Gokhana, Degema, Oyigbo, Khana, Ogu-Bolo, Akuku-Toru, Tai and Okrika soils, respectively. Results obtained form a baseline data of the parameters measured, for management of water storage, climate smart and precision agriculture; in these parts of Rivers State.

Keywords : Soil Moisture Characteristics, Aggregate Stability, Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity, CV.


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31 - December - 2023

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