An alternative deterministic method for the spatial interpolation of water retention parameters
- 1Department of Ecoregion Science, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Fuchu, Tokyo 183-8509, Japan
- 2Faculty of Business Administration, Toyo University, Tokyo 112-8606, Japan
- 3Department of Environmental Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA
Abstract. There are two approaches available for mapping water retention parameters over the study area using a spatial interpolation method. (1) Retention models can be first fitted to retention curves available at sampling locations prior to interpolating model parameters over the study area (the FI approach). (2) Retention data points can first be interpolated over the study area before retention model parameters are fitted (the IF approach). The current study compares the performance of these two approaches in representing the spatial distribution of water retention curves. Standard geostatistical interpolation methods, i.e., ordinary kriging and indicator kriging, were used. The data used in this study were obtained from the Las Cruces trench site database, which contains water retention data for 448 soil samples. Three standard water retention models, i.e., Brooks and Corey (BC), van Genuchten (VG), and Kosugi (KSG), were considered. For each model, standard validation procedures, i.e., leave-one-out cross-validation and split-sample methods were used to estimate the uncertainty of the parameters at each sampling location, allowing for the computation of prediction errors (mean absolute error and mean error). The results show that the IF approach significantly lowered mean absolute errors for the VG model, while also reducing them moderately for the KSG and BC models. In addition, the IF approach resulted in less bias than the FI approach, except when the BC model was used in the split-sample approach. Overall, IF outperforms FI for all three retention models in describing the spatial distribution of retention parameters.