Michael Bretherton

Doctor of Philosophy, (Soil science)
Study Completed: 2013
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
An investigation into repellency-induced runoff and its consequences in a New Zealand hill country pasture system

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Soil hydrology is one of the fundamental disciplines underpinning agriculture. However, in New Zealand pastoral hill country, the manner in which rainfall enters and/or runs off sloping soil surfaces is poorly understood, particularly with regard to how soil water repellency affects this process. Mr Bretherton designed and built a system that automatically recorded surface runoff volumes from plots established in a northern Wairarapa hill country farm. He used these data with detailed meteorological data to develop a soil water balance model for sloping land under pasture. His research indicates that, while some soil water repellency-induced runoff did occur, it only had a small effect on soil water storage, on pasture production, and on stream flow.

Professor David Horne
Dr David Scotter
Professor Michael Hedley