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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: OBJECT MODELING AND SCALING OF LANDSCAPE PROCESSES AND CONSERVATION EFFECTS IN AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS

Location: Agricultural Systems Research Unit

Title: Scaling soil hydraulic properties: concepts and a research example

Author
item Green, Timothy

Submitted to: American Geophysical Union
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 2, 2010
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Scale issues remain central to hydrological science, and targeted land management decisions depend on predictions of space-time process interactions in complex terrain. Spatial variability in soils must be quantified and typically scaled up to determine “effective” hydraulic properties in landscape process simulation models. In this presentation, general scaling behaviors and concepts will be discussed. Then, a scaling problem from an agricultural landscape will be illustrated. Field-saturated hydraulic conductivity measurements have been used to estimate effective soil hydraulic properties over the field and at ten landscape positions with implications for spatial modeling. Finally, some ideas for further integration of measurement and modeling will be discussed.

Technical Abstract: Scale issues remain central to hydrological science, and targeted land management decisions depend on predictions of space-time process interactions in complex terrain. Spatial variability in soils above the measurement scale must be quantified and typically scaled up to determine “effective” hydraulic properties at scales of interest for spatial elements in landscape process simulation models. In this presentation, general scaling behaviors and concepts will be discussed, wherein complexities of scale- and state-dependence will be highlighted. Then, a scaling problem from an agricultural landscape will be illustrated. Field-saturated hydraulic conductivity from steady ponded infiltration measurements at 150 “points” have been used to estimate effective soil hydraulic properties over the field and at ten landscape positions with implications for spatial modeling. Finally, some ideas for further integration of measurement and modeling will be discussed.

Last Modified: 8/30/2014
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