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KamelSoil®: A model for soil characterization from basic soil textural properties

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

Citation:  2007 ASAE Annual Meeting  072214.(doi:10.13031/2013.22987)
Authors:   Erik Braudeau, Rabi H Mohtar, Matthieu Ronin, Majdi Rafic Abou Najm, Mohammed Ali Salahat, Carly Day, Joseph Mallory, Adam Conklin
Keywords:   Soil water interaction, pedostructure, Kamel® Model, shrinkage curve, potential curve, pedotransfer function

A new conceptual and functional model of the soil-water medium organization, in which the internal structure of the soil horizon, named the pedostructure, is made up of swelling aggregates in a hierarchy of sizes, was recently presented. This representation leads to define a new paradigm for modeling the physical interaction between the soil structure and the water at the level of the process and for the macroscopic characterization of soil physical properties at the field scale. A computer model of the hydro-structural functioning of a pedon, named Kamel®, was built in the framework of this paradigm. Accordingly, the hydrostructural input parameters of Kamel® are those of physically-based equations that describe the hydraulic functionality of the pedostructure, namely: 1) the shrinkage curve, 2) the soil water potential curve, 3) the conductivity curve, and 4) the swelling dynamic curve. These parameters have a physical meaning and can be extracted precisely from the measurement of the characteristic curves in laboratory. The objective of the paper is i) to present the basic principles of Kamel® along with the state variables and functional parameters used, allowing to calculate the state variables at each depth of the pedon and to integrate this information at the field scale level; and ii) to present “KamelSoil®”, a software that translates the traditional soil characteristics into the required hydrostructural parameters of Kamel®. Therefore Kamel® can theoretically work for all soil types, at high degree of accuracy when the characteristic curves are measured or, at least, with the same approximations made by the usual soil-water models using empirical parameters and pedotransfer functions.

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