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Optimal data requirements for inverse modeling of water flow in undisturbed soil columns

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  022095,  2002 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.10842) @2002
Authors:   A. Ritter, R. Muñoz-Carpena, C.M. Regalado
Keywords:   Inverse modeling, optimal strategy, volcanic soils, WAVE model

Inverse modeling of soil hydraulic parameters in a large undisturbed monolith was performed trying different strategies. These strategies were based on using distinct hydraulic variables or combinations of them and different observation depths. By defining an index to account for all of these criteria, the best strategies were identified. From a first outflow experiment, 4 horizons with different water retention curves were identified in the monolith. Consequently the hydraulic parameters selected for inverse modeling were reduced to saturated water content and saturated hydraulic conductivity of each horizon. From a second outflow experiment, inverse optimization of these properties was successful using different strategies. Results show the use of strategies based on soil water content data to be most appropriate. Although inverse modeling using together soil water content (), matric pressure head (h), and cumulative bottom flux (q) data gave best results, monitoring of in combination with either h or q might be sufficient when 7 observation depths are considered. Decreasing the number of observations (one per horizon) will condition which variable should be monitored, but will also allow for satisfactory inverse optimization results. From a practical point of view the optimal strategy (lower cost, simplicity) was combining h and at only 4 soil depths.

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