ISSN 1392-3196 / e-ISSN 2335-8947
Zemdirbyste-Agriculture, vol. 100, No. 4 (2013), p. 369–376
DOI  10.13080/z-a.2013.100.047

Impact of climate variability in Lithuania and Belarus on atmospheric precipitation infiltration: lysimetric study



The average annual rate of atmospheric precipitation is about 38–40% on the territories of the Republics of Lithuania and Belarus. On agricultural land, with runoff waters various chemical elements leach into the subsoil and cause negative impact on the quality of water bodies. The main objectives of this study were to assess the influence of climate variability on the infiltration of atmospheric precipitation in Lithuania (Vilnius) and Belarus (Minsk). The long-term lysimetric experiment (lysimeter surface area of 1.75–2.0 m2) data of the precipitation infiltration during 1987–2008 was used in the study.

It was determined that in 1987–2007 precipitation amount on the studied territory in Lithuania (Vilnius) slightly increased (+10 mm) compared with the climate norm, while in Belarus it significantly decreased (−109 mm), precipitation amount in separate months changed, and it had an impact on the amount of precipitation infiltration. In Lithuania, strong correlation between the amounts of precipitation and infiltrated water was established during the summer period (R2 = 0.77, tr = 99.9%), moderate correlation – in autumn (R2 = 0.48, tr = 99.9%). In Belarus, a strong correlation was established in spring (R2 = 0.978, tr = 99.9%), moderate correlation – in summer (R2 = 0.537, tr = 99.9%), and winter (R2 = 0.592, tr = 99.9%) periods. During 1987–2008 in Lithuania a significant increase (p < 0.05) in infiltration of atmospheric precipitation in the course of the spring period was established. The trend of increased infiltration in summer and reduced infiltration during the autumn period is also established (correlation is insignificant). In Belarus (Minsk), due to lower amount of atmospheric precipitation in 1987–2007, the infiltration decreased during all seasons of the year, but because of the variation of the climatic conditions, no statistically significant trends (p > 0.05) of change in infiltration were established.

Key words: climate, lysimeters, rainfall infiltration, year seasons.

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