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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2017-668
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
05 Dec 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).
Predicting the soil water characteristic curve from the particle size distribution based on a pore space geometry containing slit-shaped spaces
Chen-chao Chang1,2 and Dong-hui Cheng1,2 1School of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Chang'an University, Xi'an, 710054, China
2Key Laboratory of Subsurface Hydrology and Ecological Effects in Arid Region (Chang'an University), Ministry of Education, Xi'an, China
Abstract. Abstract. Traditional models employed to predict the soil water characteristic curve (SWC) from the particle size distribution (PSD) always underestimate the water content in the dry range of the SWC. Using the measured physical parameters of 48 soil samples from the UNSODA unsaturated soil hydraulic property database, these errors were proven to originate from the underestimation of the pore volume fraction of the minimum pore diameter range. A method was therefore proposed to improve the estimation of the water content in the high suction range using a pore model comprising a circle-shaped central pore connected to slit-shaped spaces; in this model, the pore volume fraction of the minimum pore diameter range and the corresponding water content were accordingly increased. The SWCs predicted using the improved method reasonably approximated the measured SWCs, and which were more accurate than those obtained using traditional method in the dry range of the SWC.

Citation: Chang, C.-C. and Cheng, D.-H.: Predicting the soil water characteristic curve from the particle size distribution based on a pore space geometry containing slit-shaped spaces, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2017-668, in review, 2017.
Chen-chao Chang and Dong-hui Cheng
Chen-chao Chang and Dong-hui Cheng
Chen-chao Chang and Dong-hui Cheng

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Short summary
The soil water characteristic curve (SWC) is fundamental to researching water flow and chemical transport in unsaturated media. However, traditional prediction models underestimate the water content in the dry range of the SWC. A method was therefore proposed to improve the estimation of the SWC using a pore model containing slit-shaped spaces. The results show that the improved method exhibited good fits with the measured data in the entire range of the SWC.
The soil water characteristic curve (SWC) is fundamental to researching water flow and chemical...
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