Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Meetings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 1, 2003
Publication Date: November 2, 2003
Citation: Martin, M.A., Pachepsky, Y.A., Rey, J.M., Rawls, W.J., Taquas, F.J. 2003. Entrophy-based analysis of texture to estimate soil hydraulic properties. [Abstract]. American Society of Agronomy Meetings. p.194.
Soil hydraulic parameters are needed in most projects on transport and fate of pollutants. Pedotransfer procedures are often used to estimate soil hydraulic properties from soil basic data available from soil surveys. Soil particle size distribution, or texture, is known to be a leading soil property affecting soils' ability to retain and transmit water and solutes. A substantial effort has been put in searching for small number of parameters to characterize soil texture for estimating soil hydraulic properties. We have developed a new, entropy-based index (balanced entropy index, or BEI) of soil texture that shows presence of particle sizes dominating in particle size distributions. This index has a potential to reflect probable packing of soil particles. Our objective was to see whether the BEI can serve along with other soil basic properties as one of variables-predictors of soil water retention. We computed the BEI for 9700 soil samples in the NRCS soil characterization database, and applied the data mining tools to estimate water retention from soil textural composition, organic carbon content, and bulk density. The BEI was the best single predictor and the most important predictor of volumetric water contents at -33 kPa which are notoriously difficult to estimate. Using the BEI is a promising approach to improve the accuracy of estimated soil hydraulic properties.