Macroporosity and its effect on runoff processes were studied on a sloping subdrained clay field (very fine Aeric Cryaquept) in Southern Finland. An extensive field campaign was carried out to measure the spatial variability of soil macroporosity and hydraulic properties. According to the field data, macropore conductivity decreased with depth and soil properties showed differences between the upper and lower parts of the field. A one-dimensional model (MACRO) was applied to quantify the effect of these differences on the hydrological response of the upper and lower field sites. Based on the measurements, five separate parameterizations characterizing the differences in soil structure between the measurement sites were formulated. The change in soil structure had a great effect on the relative proportions of simulated drain flow and surface runoff but influenced only slightly the total amount of runoff. Evapotranspiration and percolation were similar in all cases. Examining model simulations, measured runoff components and groundwater table suggested that a two- or three-dimensional modeling approach is necessary, when prediction of proportional fractions of drain flow and surface runoff, and simulation of groundwater level in a sloping field are of interest.

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