Articles | Volume 22, issue 2
Research article
12 Feb 2018
Research article |  | 12 Feb 2018

Parametric soil water retention models: a critical evaluation of expressions for the full moisture range

Raneem Madi, Gerrit Huibert de Rooij, Henrike Mielenz, and Juliane Mai

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Cited articles

Alexander, L. and Skaggs, R. W.: Predicting unsaturated hydraulic conductivity from the soil water characteristic, Trans. Am. Soc. Agric. Eng., 29, 176–184, 1986.
Assouline, S. and Or, D.: Conceptual and parametric representation of soil hydraulic properties: a review, Vadose Zone J., 12,, 2013.
Barnes, C. J. and Turner, J. V.: Isotopic exchange in soil water, in: Isotope tracers in catchment hydrology, edited by: Kendall, C. and McDonell, J. J., Elsevier, Amsterdam, 839 pp., 137–163, 1998.
Behrangi, A., Khakbaz, B., Vrugt, J. A., Duan, Q., and Sorooshian, S.: comment on “Dynamically dimensioned search algorithm for computationally efficient watershed model calibration” by Tolson, B.A., and Shoemaker, C. A., Water Resour. Res., 44, W12603,, 2008.
Bradley, R. S.: Polymolecular adsorbed films. Part I. The adsorption of argon on salt crystals at low temperatures, and the determination of surface fields, J. Chem. Soc. (Resumed), 1467–1474,, 1936.
Short summary
Water flows through soils with more difficulty when the soil is dried out. Scant rainfall in deserts may therefore result in a seemingly wet soil, but the water will often not penetrate deeply enough to replenish the groundwater. We compared the mathematical functions that describe how well different soils hold their water and found that only a few of them are realistic. The function one chooses to model the soil can have a large impact on the estimate of groundwater recharge.