Water repellent soils are known to inhibit water infiltration, ultimately forcing water to flow via preferential paths through the vadose zone. To study water flow and transport in a water repellent sandy soil, a bromide tracer experiment was carried out, which started in the fall, after winter wheat had been sown. Field average soil water content and bromide profiles were determined seven times during a 474d period. A one-dimensional convection-dispersion model was used to simulate observed flow and transport. It was found that water content and bromide profiles could be successfully simulated. The main reason was that despite water repellency no distinct preferential flow occurred within this particular experimental field. Only wavy wetting fronts were observed. This was due to a uniform vegetation cover and a relatively thick A-horizon (30cm), which contrasts with known water repellent sandy soils with thin (10cm) top layers in which typical fingered flow patterns had previously been found.
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