Week 8

During week 8, the students focused on finishing the final report and presentation. In addition to analyzing the data from the field sites, the images from the CT scanning were scrutinized further in ImageJ (Figure 1). There was to be an evaluation on the work done while at CTU at the end of the final week, and the team also conducted one last experiment to assess saturated hydraulic conductivity in the lab.


Figure 1: The CT images being analyzed in ImageJ software

A laboratory ponded infiltration experiment was performed on one of the large soil cores collected from the Jizera Mountains. The top 2.5 cm of the core was excavated to allow for ponding. Two small holes were then drilled into the aluminum cylinder, one 5 cm from the bottom and another 7.5 cm from the top of the cylinder. Tensiometers were then installed in the holes and the pressures were allowed to stabilize. The core was placed in a hanging column attached to tipping bucket gages and a small nail was inserted into the soil. The experiment then proceeded in the same manner as in the field, except only 100 ml was added each time the water level reached the top of the nail. The experiment lasted for approximately two hours (Figure 2).


Figure 2. Laboratory ponded infiltration experiment

Hydrus 1D was then used to model the soil column and properly address the preferential flow pathways and quantify various hydraulic parameters. In addition to the lab ponding experiment and modelling, the students gave a presentation on their research and finished the final report. In the presentation, the experiments, methods, and results were discussed in detail. This allowed for a verbal assessment and evaluation of the summer endeavors.

The team concluded the 8 weeks with a dinner at Dr. Snehota’s home along with his family and other faculty from CTU. The report was submitted at the end of the week and the students went their respective ways. The opportunity given for the IRES project was exceedingly beneficial to all of the team’s current and future academic and professional endeavors.