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Evaluation of methods for inferring air and water properties of soils from field morphology

McKenzie, N.J., Smettem, K.R.J.ORCID: 0000-0003-2650-4429 and Ringrose-Voase, A.J. (1991) Evaluation of methods for inferring air and water properties of soils from field morphology. Australian Journal of Soil Research, 29 (5). pp. 587-602.

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The accurate characterization of soil water and air properties is difficult in soil survey because of logistic constraints. Less reliable surrogates are commonly used to estimatethese properties. The surrogates provide a method for moving from measures that tendto be static and semi-empirical to those characterizing soil processes. The utility of fourschemes for predicting air-filled porosity, available water capacity and saturated hydraulicconductivity on the basis of field-determined soil morphology has been assessed using datafrom a limited number of profiles with features commonly encountered in Australia. Noneof the systems provided statistically significant predictions of available water capacity andthe results for air-filled porosity were moderate (McKeagueet al.(1986), r2=0-58; Halletal.(1977), r2=0-64; Williams efal.(1991), r2=0-70). Encouragingly, the Hollis and Woods (1989) system generated good predictions of field-saturated hydraulic conductivity (r2= 0.77). It is concluded that better measurement methods and programs of data collection are needed for both the properties used as surrogates (e.g.morphology) and those for which predictions are required (e.g. air and water properties).

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Copyright: © 1991, CSIRO.
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