A New Two-Stage Approach to predicting the soil water characteristic from saturation to oven-dryness

Dan Karup Jensen, Markus Tuller, Lis W. de Jonge, Emmanuel Arthur, Per Moldrup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


The present study proposes a new two-step approach to prediction of the continuous soil water characteristic (SWC) from saturation to oven-dryness from a limited number of measured textural data, organic matter content and dry bulk density. The approach combines dry- and wet-region functions to obtain the entire SWC by means of parameterizing a previously developed continuous equation. The dry region function relates gravimetric soil fractions to adsorptive forces and the corresponding water adsorbed to soil particles. The wet region function converts the volumetric particle size fractions to pore size fractions and utilizes the capillary rise equation to predict water content and matric potential pairs. Twenty-one Arizona source soils with clay and organic carbon contents ranging from 0.01 to 0.52kgkg-1 and 0 to 0.07kgkg-1, respectively, were used for the model development. The SWCs were measured with Tempe cells, a WP4-T Dewpoint Potentiameter, and a water vapor sorption analyzer (VSA). The model was subsequently tested for eight soils from various agricultural fields in Denmark with clay contents ranging from 0.05 to 0.41kgkg-1. Test results clearly revealed that the proposed model can adequately predict the SWC based on limited soil data. The advantage of the new model is that it considers both capillary and adsorptive contributions to obtain the SWC from saturation to oven-dryness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)498-507
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Hydrology
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015


  • Adsorption
  • Capillarity
  • Soil moisture
  • Unsaturated soil
  • Water retention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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