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Obtaining soil hydraulic properties for water balance and leaching models from survey data. 1. Water retention

Smettem, K.R.J.ORCID: 0000-0003-2650-4429, Oliver, Y.M., Heng, L.K., Bristow, K.L. and Ford, E.J. (1999) Obtaining soil hydraulic properties for water balance and leaching models from survey data. 1. Water retention. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research, 50 (2). pp. 283-289.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1071/A97074
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Abstract

A physico-empirical 2-parameter power law model of the draining water retention curve (WRC) based solely on clay content is described and further developed using 6 datasets obtained from Australian and New Zealand soils. The slope of the WRC, or pore-size distribution index, is well described by the model but the bubbling pressure, or inflection point is poorly described. Without a good estimation of the bubbling pressure it is not possible to scale the physico-empirical model to the WRC. To achieve the scaling, a single measured point on the WRC in the unsaturated range is required. The resulting estimated water contents may be satisfactory for application within broad-scale leaching risk models and for generalised extrapolation of results from detailed experimental sites but caution is still required for quantitative applications of nitrate leaching models at a particular site.

It is concluded that soil surveys could usefully include a single WRC measurement in the field at each sampling location to improve their utility for water and chemical transport modelling.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: CSIRO
Copyright: © CSIRO 1999
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/38135
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