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A method for estimating soil water diffusivity from moisture profiles and its application across an experimental catchment

AutorEspejo, Antonio J.; Giráldez, Juan Vicente ; Vanderlinden, Karl; Taguas, E. V.; Pedrera-Parrilla, Aura
Palabras claveMediterranean olive orchard
Soil water diffusivity
Sensor network
Soil hydraulic properties
Fecha de publicación14-feb-2014
CitaciónJournal of Hydrology 516: 161- 168 (2014)
ResumenDespite the well-accepted value of soil hydraulic properties for describing and modeling matter and energy fluxes in the unsaturated zone, their accurate measurement across scales is still a daunting task. The increasing availability of continuous soil water content measurements at discrete points in space, as provided by sensor networks, offers still unexplored possibilities for evaluating soil physical properties across landscapes. In this study, we propose a new method, based on the Bruce and Klute equation, to estimate effective soil water diffusivity from soil water profile data observed during continuous desiccation periods. An analytical expression is proposed for the diffusion-soil water relationship, assuming an exponential relationship between soil water content and the Boltzmann variable. The method has been evaluated using soil water profile data observed at inter-row and under canopy locations across a rainfed olive orchard in SW Spain. The spatial variability of the effective soil water diffusivity across the orchard was estimated. Different soil conditions under the tree canopies as compared to inter-row areas resulted in significantly different effective diffusivity relationships, reflecting the effect of trees on soil physical properties and water dynamics across olive orchards. The proposed method offers a suitable alternative to traditional laboratory methods and can be easily extended to estimate soil hydraulic conductivity and water retention curves.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.01.072
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.01.072
issn: 0022-1694
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