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Estimation of Soil Water Properties

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

Citation:  Transactions of the ASAE. 25 (5): 1316-1320. (doi: 10.13031/2013.33720) @1982
Authors:   W. J. Rawls, D. L. Brakensiek, K. E. Saxtonn

ABSTRACT RELATIONSHIPS of soil water tension and hydraulic conductivity with soil water content are needed to quantify plant available water and to model the move-ment of water and solutes in and through soils. Field and laboratory measurement of these hydraulic soil proper-ties is very difficult, laborous, and costly. To provide the best estimates possible from previous analyses, a com-prehensive search of the literature and data sources for hydraulic conductivity and related soil-water data was made in 1978. From this search, data for 1,323 soils with about 5,350 horizons from 32 states were assembled. From the data, the Brooks and Corey water retention parameters, soil water retention volumes at 0.33 bar and 15 bar, total porosity, and saturated conductivities for the major USDA soil textures classes were developed. Also, relationships for predicting water retention volumes for particular tensions and saturated hydraulic conductivities based on soil properties are presented.

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