The soil-water characteristic curve (SWCC) is the basis for obtaining the hydraulic conductivity parameters of a soil as well as for using soil water and heat transport models. At present, the curve can be obtained by two methods: by direct measurement and by empirical formula. Direct measurement is both difficult and time-consuming. By contrast, fitting the SWCC with a suitable empirical formula is stable and convenient. The van Genuchten (VG) model has the advantage of universal applicability due to its use of a statistical aperture distribution model for estimating hydraulic conductivity. This study selected the Mu Us Bottomland as a study area. Data on the water content and water potential of undisturbed soil from this site were obtained with a Ku-pF instrument and a self-designed soil column experiment with temperature settings of 13 °C, 18 °C, 23 °C, 27 °C, and 30 °C. The variation of four main parameters in the VG model with temperature was analyzed based on thermodynamic theory and considering the effect of temperature on soil capillary pressure via its effects on surface tension and contact angle. A prediction model for the soil-water characteristic curve of the Mu Us Bottomland was then constructed, and its applicability was further analyzed. The temperature dependence of the SWCC demonstrated here provides an important scientific basis for agricultural production, farmland water conservancy, and the design of soil and water conservation engineering projects.
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