Description of the unsaturated soil hydraulic database UNSODA version 2.0

A. Nemes, M. G. Schaap, F. J. Leij, J. H.M. Wösten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

307 Scopus citations


Quantifying water flow and chemical transport in the vadose zone typically requires knowledge of the unsaturated soil hydraulic properties. The UNsaturated SOil hydraulic DAtabase (UNSODA) was developed to provide a source of unsaturated hydraulic data and some other soil properties for practitioners and researchers. The current database contains measured soil water retention, hydraulic conductivity and water diffusivity data as well as pedological information of some 790-soil samples from around the world. A first MS-DOS version of the database was released in 1996. It has been applied in numerous studies. In this paper, we describe the second version (UNSODA V2.0) for use with Microsoft Access-97®1. The format and structure of the new database have been modified to provide additional and more convenient options for data searches, to provide compatibility with other programs for easy loading and downloading of data, and to allow users to customise the contents and look of graphical output. This paper reviews the structure and contents of the database as well as the operations that can be performed on the different data types in UNSODA V2.0. The use and application of the new database are illustrated with two examples. The retrieval of data is briefly illustrated, followed by a more detailed example regarding the interpolation of soil particle-size distribution data obtained according to different national definitions of particle-size classes. The interpolation procedure, which is based on finding similar particle-size distribution curves from a large European data set, also performed well for soils that originate from other geographical areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-162
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2001


  • Hydraulic conductivity
  • Particle-size distribution
  • Soil hydraulic database
  • Soil water diffusivity
  • Unsaturated soils
  • Water retention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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