Next Article in Journal
Mechanical Fault Diagnosis of High Voltage Circuit Breakers with Unknown Fault Type Using Hybrid Classifier Based on LMD and Time Segmentation Energy Entropy
Next Article in Special Issue
Application of Information Theory for an Entropic Gradient of Ecological Sites
Previous Article in Journal
Lattice Distortions in the FeCoNiCrMn High Entropy Alloy Studied by Theory and Experiment
Previous Article in Special Issue
A Geographically Temporal Weighted Regression Approach with Travel Distance for House Price Estimation
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Entropy 2016, 18(9), 323; doi:10.3390/e18090323

Entropy Base Estimation of Moisture Content of the Top 10-m Unsaturated Soil for the Badain Jaran Desert in Northwestern China

State Key Laboratory of Hydraulics and Mountain River Engineering, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065, China
College of Architecture & Environment, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065, China
Key Laboratory of Western China’s Environmental Systems, Ministry of Education (MOE), Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Raúl Alcaraz Martínez
Received: 12 July 2016 / Revised: 24 August 2016 / Accepted: 31 August 2016 / Published: 3 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Information Theory in the Geosciences)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [14659 KB, uploaded 3 September 2016]   |  


Estimation of soil moisture distribution in desert regions is challenged by the deep unsaturated zone and the extreme natural environment. In this study, an entropy-based method, consisting of information entropy, principle of maximum entropy (PME), solutions to PME with constraints, and the determination of parameters, is used to estimate the soil moisture distribution in the 10 m deep vadose zone of a desert region. Firstly, the soil moisture distribution is described as a scaled probability density function (PDF), which is solved by PME with the constraints of normalization, known arithmetic mean and geometric mean, and the solution is the general form of gamma distribution. A constant arithmetic mean is determined by considering the stable average recharge rate at thousand year scale, and an approximate constant geometric mean is determined by the low flow rate (about 1 cm a year). Followed, the parameters of the scaled PDF of gamma distribution are determined by local environmental factors like terrain and vegetation: the multivariate linear equations are established to qualify the relationship between the parameters and the environmental factors on the basis of nineteen random soil moisture profiles about depth through the application of fuzzy mathematics. Finally, the accuracy is tested using correlation coefficient (CC) and relative error. This method performs with CC larger than 0.9 in more than a half profiles and most larger than 0.8, the relative errors are less than 30% in most of soil moisture profiles and can be as low as less than 15% when parameters fitted appropriately. Therefore, this study provides an alternative method to estimate soil moisture distribution in top 0–10 m layers of the Badain Jaran Desert based on local terrain and vegetation factors instead of drilling sand samples, this method would be useful in desert regions with extreme natural conditions since these environmental factors can be obtained by remote sensing data. Meanwhile, we should bear in mind that this method is challenged in humid regions since more intensive and frequent precipitation, and more vegetation cover make the system much more complex. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil moisture distribution; principle of maximum entropy; information entropy; deep vadose zone; Badain Jaran Desert soil moisture distribution; principle of maximum entropy; information entropy; deep vadose zone; Badain Jaran Desert

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Zhou, X.; Lei, W.; Ma, J. Entropy Base Estimation of Moisture Content of the Top 10-m Unsaturated Soil for the Badain Jaran Desert in Northwestern China. Entropy 2016, 18, 323.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Entropy EISSN 1099-4300 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top