Evaluation of Hydraulic Parameters Obtained by Different Measurement Methods for Heterogeneous Gravel Soil

  • Author(s): Chen Zeng, Quanjiu Wang, and Fan Zhang
  • DOI: 10.3319/TAO.2012.05.22.03(WMH)
  • Keywords: Soil hydraulic parameter, van Genuchten function, Model inverse solution, HYDRUS 2D

Knowledge of soil hydraulic parameters for the van Genuchten function is important to characterize soil water movement for watershed management. Accurate and rapid prediction of soil water flow in heterogeneous gravel soil has become a hot topic in recent years. However, it is difficult to precisely estimate hydraulic parameters in a heterogeneous soil with rock fragments. In this study, the HYDRUS-2D numerical model was used to evaluate hydraulic parameters for heterogeneous gravel soil that was irregularly embedded with rock fragments in a grape production base. The centrifugal method (CM), tensiometer method (TM) and inverse solution method (ISM) were compared for various parameters in the van Genuchten function. The soil core method (SCM), disc infiltration method (DIM) and inverse solution method (ISM) were also investigated for measuring saturated hydraulic conductivity. Simulation with the DIM approach revealed a problem of overestimating soil water infiltration whereas simulation with the SCM approach revealed a problem of underestimating water movement as compared to actual field observation. The ISM approach produced the best simulation result even though this approach slightly overestimated soil moisture by ignoring the impact of rock fragments. This study provides useful information on the overall evaluation of soil hydraulic parameters attained with different measurement methods for simulating soil water movement and distribution in heterogeneous gravel soil.

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