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Scanning electron micrographs of polyacrylamide-treated soil irrigation furrows


, : Scanning electron micrographs of polyacrylamide-treated soil irrigation furrows. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 58(5): 7-31

Part of a special section on polyacrylamide (PAM) methods in soil and water management. The physiochemical and submicrostructural behavior of PAM-treated soil was studied. Scanning electron microscopy was used to analyze surface soil submicrostructures of PAM-treated and untreated irrigation furrows on a Portneuf silt loam. Whereas PAM-treated soil seals showed semicontinuous net or weblike coatings of polymer on and bridging between mineral particles, untreated soil seals had poorly aggregated particles. Thin, porous, surface soil veneers of protective PAM coatings enhanced infiltration rates and induced soil stabilization against furrow irrigation erosion. In contrast, unstable soil microstructures of surface soil seals on untreated furrows resulted in slaking and dispersion under irrigation, leading to erosion losses and lower infiltration rates.

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