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Open AccessArticle

Effects of Temperature Change on the Soil Water Characteristic Curve and a Prediction Model for the Mu Us Bottomland, Northern China

1
School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Chang’an University, Xi’an 710054, China
2
Key Laboratory of Subsurface Hydrology and Ecological Effect in Arid Region of Ministry of Education, Chang’an University, Xi’an 710054, China
3
Inner Mongolia Geological Environmental Monitoring Institute, Hohhot 010020, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(6), 1235; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11061235
Received: 25 March 2019 / Revised: 2 June 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 13 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Related Disaster and Water Environment Management)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil-water characteristic curve; van Genuchten model; parameter fitting; temperature effect; Mu Us Bottomland soil-water characteristic curve; van Genuchten model; parameter fitting; temperature effect; Mu Us Bottomland
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Qiao, X.; Ma, S.; Pan, G.; Liu, G. Effects of Temperature Change on the Soil Water Characteristic Curve and a Prediction Model for the Mu Us Bottomland, Northern China. Water 2019, 11, 1235.

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