[ RadSafe ] Findings challenge a century of assumptions about soil hydrology

Cary Renquist cary.renquist at ezag.com
Fri Jan 22 11:25:23 CST 2010

     Researchers have discovered that some of the most fundamental
assumptions about how water moves through 
     soil in a seasonally dry climate such as the Pacific Northwest are
incorrect -- and that a century of 
     research based on those assumptions will have to be reconsidered.

Hmm, will the hydrology models for places like Hanford need to be
I guess that it might make a difference in models of how surface
contamination gets transported through an aquifer, but probably not much
difference for something like leakage from a tank or buried waste...

Cary.renquist at ezag.com

Water hits and sticks: Findings challenge a century of assumptions about
soil hydrology 

A new study by scientists from Oregon State University and the
Environmental Protection Agency showed -- much to the surprise of the
researchers -- that soil clings tenaciously to the first precipitation
after a dry summer, and holds it so tightly that it almost never mixes
with other water.

The finding is so significant, researchers said, that they aren't even
sure yet what it may mean. But it could affect our understanding of how
pollutants move through soils, how nutrients get transported from soils
to streams, how streams function and even how vegetation might respond
to climate change.

The research was just published online in Nature Geoscience, a
professional journal.

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