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Water 2017, 9(12), 947; doi:10.3390/w9120947

Measurement and Simulation of Soil Water Contents in an Experimental Field in Delta Plain

State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
College of Hydrology and Water Resources, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 October 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 2 December 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Water Conservation: Dynamics and Impact)
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Variation in soil water content in the delta plain has its own particularity and is significant for agricultural improvement, the utilization of water resources and flood risk mitigation. In this study, experimental data collected from a plot of farmland located in the Taihu Basin were used to investigate the temporal and vertical variation of soil water content, as well as the effects of individual rainfall on soil water and shallow groundwater and their interaction. The results showed that the variation of soil water content is dependent on the comprehensive influence of soil hydraulic properties, meteorological factors and shallow groundwater and the correlation to the groundwater table is the strongest due to the significant capillary action in the delta plain. A saturated-unsaturated three-dimensional soil water numerical model was developed for the study area in response to rainfall and evapotranspiration. Scenario simulations were performed with different soil depths for soil water content and the error source was analyzed to improve the model. The average RMSE, RE and R2 values of the soil water content at the five depths between the measured and simulated results were 0.0192 cm3·cm−3, 2.09% and 0.8119, respectively. The results indicated that the developed model could estimate vertical soil water content and its dynamics over time at the study site at an acceptable level. Moreover, further research and application to other sites in delta plains are necessary to verify and improve the model. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil water content; field observation; three-dimensional model; numerical model; delta plain; shallow groundwater soil water content; field observation; three-dimensional model; numerical model; delta plain; shallow groundwater

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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).

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Hua, W.; Wang, C.; Chen, G.; Yang, H.; Zhai, Y. Measurement and Simulation of Soil Water Contents in an Experimental Field in Delta Plain. Water 2017, 9, 947.

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