Use of field and laboratory methods for estimating unsaturated hydraulic properties under different land-use

Abstract : Adequate water management is required to improve the efficiency and sustainability of agricultural systems when water is scarce or over-abundant, especially in the case of land-use changes. In order to quantify, to predict and eventually to control water and solute transport into soil, soil hydraulic properties need to be determined precisely. As their determination is often tedious, expensive and time-consuming, many alternative field and laboratory techniques are now available. The aim of this study was to deter- mine unsaturated soil hydraulic properties under different land-uses and to compare the results obtained with different measurement methods (Beerkan, Disk infiltrometer,Evaporation, pedotransfer function). The study has been realised on a tropical sandy soil in a mini watershed in NE Thailand. The experimental plots were positioned in a rubber tree plantation in different positions along a slope, in ruzi grass pasture and in an original forest site. Non parametric statistics demonstrated that van Genuchten unsaturated soil parameters (Ks, α and n), were significantly different according to the measurement methods employed whereas location was not a significant discriminating factor when all methods were considered together. However within each method, pa- rameters n and α were statistically different according to the sites. These parameters were used with Hydrus1D for a one year simulation and computed pressure head did not show noticeable differences for the various sets of parameters, highlighting the fact that for modelling, any of these measurement method could be employed. The choice of the measurement method would therefore be motivated by the simplicity, robustness and its low cost.
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Submitted on : Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 10:34:55 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 19, 2018 - 2:28:03 PM

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S. Siltecho, C. Hammecker, V. Sriboonlue, C. Clermont-Dauphin, V. Trelo-Ges, et al.. Use of field and laboratory methods for estimating unsaturated hydraulic properties under different land-use. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, European Geosciences Union, 2014, 11, pp.6099-6137. ⟨10.5194/hessd-11-6099-2014⟩. ⟨hal-01078754⟩

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