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Hydrology of A Slide-Prone Glacial Till Soil in Southeast Alaska

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Heavy irrigation caused no surface runoff, erosion, or debris avalanches on well-drained Karta soil, a tentative series producing much of the commercial timber in southeast Alaska. Interpreting measured rainfall, streamflow, and piezometric head in terms of Darcy's equation showed how this slide-prone soil accommodates large amounts of water. About 2/3 of the water applied drained laterally through permeable surface layers to a stream adjacent to the study area. The remaining 1/3 presumably drained deeply into highly fractured bedrock. Less permeable soil, less fractured bedrock, or longer irrigated slopes probably would have caused saturated soil under heavy watering. It appears that Karta soil must be saturated to cause debris avalanches, a condition which may occur naturally when much larger areas are wetted by much smaller rainfall.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Research Geologist, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Expt. Sta., Institute of Northern Forestry, Forest Service, U. S. Dept. Agric., Juneau, Alaska

Publication date: 1968-01-01

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  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

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