Purpose The water retention characteristics of polluted soil systems are affected not only by the properties of the soil (e.g., texture) but also by those of the pollutants. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of oil pollution on the water-holding capacity of earthy materials with different textures. Materials and methods Three earthy materials (Lou, Loessial, and Aeolian sandy earthy materials) with different textures were treated with crude oil at five pollution levels (0, 0.5, 1, 2, and 4%). The soil water retention curve (SWRC) obtained for each treated sample was analyzed using the van Genuchten model. Results and discussion Oil pollution resulted in lower soil water retention in each case, with a leftward shift of the corresponding SWRC, and led to a decrease in the saturated water content of the earthy material, characterized by a marked increase in incomplete saturation, and a decrease in the residual water content (i.e., irreducible saturation). Oil pollution also determined a marked increase in the slope of the SWRC. The response of the SWRC to oil pollution was significantly influenced by the texture of earthy material, and the saturated water content of all earthy materials was strongly affected by the level of oil
Journal of Soils and Sediments – Springer Journals
Published: May 30, 2018
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