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New Mexico State University (2017)

Assessment of zeolite as geoengineering material for re-vegetation of riparian arid environments

Piñón-Villarreal, Aldo Raúl

Titre : Assessment of zeolite as geoengineering material for re-vegetation of riparian arid environments

Auteur : Piñón-Villarreal, Aldo Raúl,

Université de soutenance : New Mexico State University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Civil Engineering 2017

Notes
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 4-5, 40-44, 73-76, 115-119, 148-153). Clinoptilolite zeolite (CA) was studied for its application in agricultural loamy sand soils to reduce nitrogen fertilizer leaching and in riparian arid environments as a wicking material to sustain plant growth without irrigation. The effects of applying CZ to sandy soils on the retention and transport of nitrate-N (NO₃⁻-N) and ammonium-N (NH₄⁺-N) ions are discussed in chapter 1. The results revealed an inverse relationship between NO₃⁻-N adsorption and the amount of CZ mixed with soil, and a direct relationship between NH₄⁺-N adsorption and the amount of CZ added. In chapters 2 through 4, CZ was assessed for its application as a wicking material for re-vegetation of native riparian plants in the flood plain of the Rio Grande in New Mexico, USA where the groundwater table was shallow but not easily accessible by plants. In-situ capillary fluxes in CZ-filled and unamended riparian soil (RS) boreholes were simulated using Hydrus-ID model, which is described in chapter 2. Simulated and measured soil water content at 15, 30, 90 cm borehole depths were in close agreement. Water content in CZ was consistently higher than in RS boreholes at matric potentials above the wilting point capable of sustaining plant growth. The two-year assessment of four native plant species (Emory baccharis, fourwing saltbush, giant sacaton, and saltgrass) grown in CZ and unamended RS boreholes is presented in chapter 3. The effect of CZ on biomass productivity and root length density of selected plants three years after planting is discussed in chapter 4. The results of this study demonstrate that CZ can be applied to conserve nitrogen fertilizers that do not contain NO₃⁻ in agricultural loamy sand soils. Results from field and modeling studies show that application of CZ as wicking material to grow plants in riparian arid environments with shallow groundwater table is promising.

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Page publiée le 14 octobre 2018, mise à jour le 11 novembre 2018