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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-17
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-17
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 23 Apr 2019

Research article | 23 Apr 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).

Efficient estimation of effective hydraulic properties of stratal undulating surface layer using time-lapse multi-channel GPR

Xicai Pan1, Stefan Jaumann1, Jiabao Zhang1, and Kurt Roth2,3 Xicai Pan et al.
  • 1Fengqiu Agro-ecological Experimental Station, State Key Laboratory of Soil and Sustainable Agriculture, 5 Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 71 East Beijing Road, 210008, Nanjing, China
  • 2Institute of Environmental Physics, Heidelberg University, Im Neuenheimer Feld 229, 69120, Heidelberg, Germany
  • 3Interdisplinary Center for Scientific Computing (IWR), Heidelberg University, Im Neuenheimer Feld 205, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany

Abstract. Multi-scale soil architectures in shallow subsurface are widespread in natural and anthropogenic depositional environments, acquisition of the surface stratal structure and hydrological properties are essential to quantify water cycling. Geophysical methods like Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR) can provide quantitative information like soil architecture and spatiotemporal soil water content distribution for the shallow layer. Concerning the informative multi-dimensional water flow in the surface layer with an undulating bottom at plot scale, this study assesses the feasibility of efficiently estimating soil hydraulic properties using a few time-lapse multi-channel GPR observations, namely soil water storage and layer thickness of the surface layer at a reclamation land near an old river channel. We show that effective hydraulic properties of the surface layer can be obtained with a small number of time-lapse GPR measurements during a rainfall event. Additionally, we analyze the effect of some key factors controlling the informative lateral water redistribution on the results of the proposed approach using synthetic simulations.

Xicai Pan et al.
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Short summary
This study suggests an efficient approach to obtain plot-scale soil hydraulic properties for the shallow structural soils via non-invasive ground-penetrating radar measurements. Facilitated by spatial information of lateral water flow, this approach is more efficient than the widely-used inversion approaches relying on intensive soil moisture monitoring. The acquisition of such quantitative information is of great interest to the fields such as hydrology and precision agriculture.
This study suggests an efficient approach to obtain plot-scale soil hydraulic properties for the...
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