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Garden with Insight Kurtz-Fernhout Software
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Garden with Insight v1.0 Help: depth fraction

Precipitation is normally measured in inches or millimeters, but really the rain or snow that falls fills up a volume. We make an assumption that rain and snow fall evenly, and we automatically divide the volume of precipitation by the area of the ground when we say "inches" or "millimeters" of rain or snow.

This simulation also assumes even distribution to simulate water in the soil. It maintains an amount of water in each soil layer in terms of the height (not the volume) of the water. Since all the soil layers have the same area, we can disregard the area part of volume and compare the height only.

However, this produces a problem: each soil layer has a different height, so when you look at the amounts of water you can't compare them evenly. Knowing how well the soil is filled with water relative to how much water it can hold is very important. If you have three glasses of different heights and they are all filled different amounts, how can you compare how full they are? So some aspects divide the height of water in each soil layer by the height of the soil layer, giving you a height (or depth) fraction, which means how full each soil layer is. You can then compare these numbers easily to see how the water is distributed in the soil profile.

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Updated: March 10, 1999. Questions/comments on site to
Copyright © 1998, 1999 Paul D. Fernhout & Cynthia F. Kurtz.