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Use of Soil Survey Information for Determining Soil Hydraulic Properties

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

Citation:  Paper number  032189,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.13797) @2003
Authors:   Walter J. Rawls, Yakov A. Pachepsky
Keywords:   Water retention, hydraulic conductivity, soil survey , hydraulic soil properties

Knowledge of hydraulic properties is a key element in hydrologic modeling. Laboratory and field methods for determining soil hydraulic properties are time consuming and expensive. Pedotransfer functions (PTF's) which predict various soil hydraulic properties (water retention and hydraulic conductivity) based on various levels of soil survey information were developed by applying regression tree analysis to the NRCS national soils database. The qualitative information used in the pedotransfer functions were USDA soil texture classes, structure, grade, size and shape classes, dry and moist consistency classes and stickness and plasticity classes. Topographic features, organic matter and taxonomic units which are subjectively estimated in the field and are part of every soil profile description appear to be useful predictors of soil hydraulic properties.

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