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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Effect of sand layer on water and nitrogen movement in soil Gin, Shelley

Abstract

Most golf courses in North America are constructed according to specifications from the United States Golf Association. Within the specification, the thickness of the sand layer is recommended to be 20.3 to 25.4 cm (8 to 10 inches) to provide adequate drainage to the course. To maintain healthy turf grass, golf courses implement intensive irrigation and fertilization programs. Nitrogen and phosphorus are elements that are essential to the growth of healthy turf grass and are supplied in commercial fertilizers. They are also nutrients that are most likely to affect the quality of surface and groundwater. When soil nutrient levels are high and large volumes of water are added to the soil, subsurface loss of nutrients (nitrogen) occurs. As a general guideline, nutrient loss via leaching increases as soil coarseness and water content increases. Without water movement, leaching does not occur. The purpose of this study was to investigate what effect the sand layer thickness had on the movement of water and nitrogen in the soil profile of golf courses. Results showed that the volume of drainage water as well as the total kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN) concentration in the leachate increased with a thicker sand layer. The amount of TKN that might leach from a golf course during the turf growth peak period of June to August could have a significant impact on the groundwater quality. Reducing irrigation practices to satisfy only the requirements of turf evapotranspiration could significantly reduce the amount of leachate from the golf courses.

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