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Berlin Brandenburg

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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Journal of Hydrology, 10 October 2013, Vol.502, pp.120-127
    Description: Over the last decade there has been a significant shift in global agricultural practice. Because the rapid increase of human population poses unprecedented challenges to production of an adequate and economically feasible food supply for undernourished populations, soilless greenhouse production systems are regaining increased worldwide attention. The optimal control of water availability and aeration is an essential prerequisite to successfully operate plant growth systems with soilless substrates such as aggregated foamed glass, perlite, rockwool, coconut coir, or mixtures thereof. While there are considerable empirical and theoretical efforts devoted to characterize water retention and aeration substrate properties, a holistic, physically-based approach considering water retention and aeration concurrently is lacking. In this study, the previously developed concept of integral water storage and energy was expanded to dual-porosity substrates and an analog integral oxygen diffusivity parameter was introduced to simultaneously characterize aeration properties of four common soilless greenhouse growth media. Integral parameters were derived for greenhouse crops in general, as well as for tomatoes. The integral approach provided important insights for irrigation management and for potential optimization of substrate properties. Furthermore, an observed relationship between the integral parameters for water availability and oxygen diffusivity can be potentially applied for the design of advanced irrigation and management strategies to ensure stress-free growth conditions, while conserving water resources.
    Keywords: Soilless Plant Growth Substrates ; Plant Available Water ; Substrate Water Characteristic ; Integral Water Storage ; Integral Energy ; Integral Oxygen Diffusivity ; Geography
    ISSN: 0022-1694
    E-ISSN: 1879-2707
    Source: ScienceDirect Journals (Elsevier)
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Journal of Hydrology, 06 May 2014, Vol.512, pp.388-396
    Description: The saturated hydraulic conductivity ( ) is an essential effective parameter for the development of improved distributed hydrological models and area-differentiated risk assessment of chemical leaching. Basic soil properties such as the particle size distribution or, more recently, air permeability are commonly used to estimate . Conversely, links to soil gas diffusivity ( / ) have not been fully explored even though gas diffusivity is intimately linked to the connectivity and tortuosity of the soil pore network. Based on measurements for a coarse sandy soil, potential relationships between and / were investigated. A total of 84 undisturbed soil cores were extracted from the topsoil of a field site, and / and were measured in the laboratory. Water-induced and solids-induced tortuosity factors were obtained by applying a two-parameter / model to measured data, and subsequently linked to the cementation exponent of the well-established Revil and Cathles predictive model for saturated hydraulic conductivity. Furthermore, a two-parameter model, analogue to the Kozeny–Carman equation, was developed for the − / relationship. All analyses implied strong and fundamental relationships between and / .
    Keywords: Soil Gas Diffusivity ; Tortuosity ; Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity ; Porosity ; Particle Size Distribution ; Geography
    ISSN: 0022-1694
    E-ISSN: 1879-2707
    Source: ScienceDirect Journals (Elsevier)
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, December 2016, Vol.55, pp.105-117
    Description: A major concern resulting from the increased use and production of natural gas has been how to mitigate fugitive greenhouse gas emissions (predominantly methane) from natural gas infrastructure (e.g., leaky shallow pipelines). Subsurface migration and atmospheric loading of methane from pipeline leakage is controlled by source configurations and subsurface soil conditions (e.g., soil heterogeneity and soil moisture) and are further affected by atmospheric conditions (e.g., wind and temperature). However, the transport and attenuation of methane under varying subsurface and atmospheric conditions are poorly understood, making it difficult to estimate leakage fluxes from methane concentration measurements at and above the soil surface. Based on a series of controlled bench-scale experiments using a large porous media tank interfaced with an open-return wind tunnel, this study investigated multiphase processes controlling migration of methane from a point source representing a buried pipeline leaking at fixed flow rate (kg/s) under various saturation and soil-texture conditions. In addition, potential effects of atmospheric boundary controls, wind (0.5 and 2.0 m s ) and temperature (22 and 35 °C), were also examined. Results showed the distinct effects of soil heterogeneity and, to a varying degree, of soil moisture on surface methane concentrations. In addition, results also showed the pronounced effects of wind and, to a lesser degree, of temperature on surface methane concentrations in the presence of varying soil and moisture conditions. The observed subsurface methane profiles were simulated using the multiphase transport simulator TOUGH2-EOS7CA. Observed agreement between measured and simulated data demonstrates that for the conditions studied, multiphase migration of a multicomponent gas mixture (including methane) under density-dependent flow can be adequately represented with a Fickian advection-diffusion (or dispersion) model (ADM) framework. The dominant effect of saturation over the soil texture, could also be inferred from numerical characterization.
    Keywords: Methane Gas Migration ; Natural Gas ; Unsaturated Soil ; Gas Transport ; Shallow Subsurface ; Engineering
    ISSN: 1750-5836
    E-ISSN: 1878-0148
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Advances in Space Research, 15 August 2014, Vol.54(4), pp.797-808
    Description: Growing plants to facilitate life in outer space, for example on the International Space Station (ISS) or at planned deep-space human outposts on the Moon or Mars, has received much attention with regard to NASA’s advanced life support system research. With the objective of in situ resource utilization to conserve energy and to limit transport costs, native materials mined on Moon or Mars are of primary interest for plant growth media in a future outpost, while terrestrial porous substrates with optimal growth media characteristics will be useful for onboard plant growth during space missions. Due to limited experimental opportunities and prohibitive costs, liquid and gas behavior in porous substrates under reduced gravity conditions has been less studied and hence remains poorly understood. Based on ground-based measurements, this study examined water retention, oxygen diffusivity and air permeability characteristics of six plant growth substrates for potential applications in space, including two terrestrial analogs for lunar and Martian soils and four particulate substrates widely used in reduced gravity experiments. To simulate reduced gravity water characteristics, the predictions for ground-based measurements (1 − ) were scaled to two reduced gravity conditions, Martian gravity (0.38 − ) and lunar gravity (0.16 − ), following the observations in previous reduced gravity studies. We described the observed gas diffusivity with a recently developed model combined with a new approach that estimates the gas percolation threshold based on the pore size distribution. The model successfully captured measured data for all investigated media and demonstrated the implications of the poorly-understood with improved gas percolation in reduced gravity. Finally, using a substrate-structure parameter related to the gaseous phase, we adequately described the air permeability under reduced gravity conditions.
    Keywords: Plant Growth Media ; Reduced Gravity ; Gas Diffusivity ; Percolation Threshold ; Engineering ; Astronomy & Astrophysics ; Physics
    ISSN: 0273-1177
    E-ISSN: 1879-1948
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: Soil Science Society of America Journal, Sept-Oct, 2012, Vol.76(5), p.1564(15)
    Description: Growing plants in extraterrestrial environments, for example on a space station or in a future lunar or Martian outpost, is a challenge that has attracted increasing interest over the last few decades. Most of the essential plant needs for optimal growth (air, water, and nutrient supply, and mechanical support) are closely linked with the basic physical properties of the growth media. Diffusion is the main process whereby oxygen and nutrients are supplied to plant roots, and gas and solute diffusivity are the key parameters controlling the diffusive movement of oxygen and nutrients in the root zone. As one among several essential aspects of optimal porous media design for plant growth, this study presents a diffusion-based characterization of four commercial, aggregated growth media. To account for the observed large percolation threshold for gas diffusivity in the selected media, an inactive pore and density corrected (IPDC) model was developed and excellently described measured gas diffusivity in both inter- and intraaggregate pore regions. A strong relation (r2 = 0.98) between percolation threshold for gas diffusivity and mean particle (aggregate) diameter was found and suggested to be used in future design models. Also, critical windows of diffusivity (CWD) was defined identifying the air content range where gas diffusivity (hence, oxygen supply) and solute diffusivity or the analogous electrical conductivity (hence, nutrient supply) are above pre-defined, critical minimum values. Assuming different critical values for gas diffusivity under terrestrial and Martian conditions, the four growth media were compared and it was found that one medium did not fulfill the pre-set criteria. Overall, the analyses suggested that particle (aggregate) sizes below 0.25 and above 5 mm should likely be avoided when designing safe plant growth media for space. The CWD concept was also applied to a natural volcanic ash soil (Nishi-Tokyo, Japan), and the natural soil was found competitive or better than the tested commercial growth media. This could bear large perspectives for Martian outpost missions, since NASA has found that Martian dust/soil mostly resembles volcanic ash soil among terrestrial materials.
    Keywords: Exobiology -- Research ; Martian Atmosphere -- Research ; Plant Growing Media -- Usage ; Plant Growth -- Research
    ISSN: 0361-5995
    E-ISSN: 14350661
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