This chapter describes the development of the soil-water budget at various spatiotemporal scales, including an example of post-mining sites. This includes the formation of soil aggregates and porosity, the development of water retention in the soil profile, and water losses by runoff and evapotranspiration. It is emphasized that the development of soil-water retention is closely linked to carbon storage in post-mining soils, which is strongly affected by litter quality. Plants with a high C:N ratio of litter feature most of the organic matter in Oe and litter layers, which results in a lower soil-water storage, whereas soil covered by vegetation with low litter C:N ratios produces organo-mineral aggregates and deeper A horizons that promote water storage. Moreover, the need for controlled catchment conditions to get a better understanding of how these processes on various spatiotemporal scales interact is emphasized.
Part of the book: Hydrology of Artificial and Controlled Experiments