Spatial structure of soil texture and its influence on spatial variability of nitrate leaching
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Field scale variability of soil texture can influence crop yield and movement of soil water in the field. The objective of this study was to investigate the spatial structure of soil texture in relation to the variability of nitrate-N leaching using geostatistics. Soil textural fractions showed strong spatial autocorrelations from surface to 60 cm depth. Random variability of soil texture increased with depth. Soil water content, as well as total carbon, total nitrogen and soil organic carbon of top 15 cm, also showed spatial autocorrelations similar to soil texture. Elevation, relative slope position and vertical distance to channel network showed significant influence on the distribution of soil texture. Soil texture at 90 cm depth correlated best with cumulative percolated water and cumulative nitrate leached in field lysimeters. Our results showed that soil layers with low hydraulic conductivity control the water and nitrate movement through the soil profile.