This study focuses on the reliable parametrization of the full Soil Water Retention Curve (SWRC) from saturation to oven-dryness using high resolution but limited range measured water retention data by the Hydraulic Property Analyzer (HYPROP) system. We studied the performance of five unimodal water retention models including the Brooks and Corey model (BC model), the Fredlund and Xing model (FX model), the Kosugi model (K model), the van Genuchten constrained model with four free parameters (VG model), and the van Genuchten unconstrained model with five free parameters (VGm
model). In addition, eleven alternative expressions including Peters–Durner–Iden (PDI), bimodal, and bimodal-PDI variants of the original models were evaluated. We used a data set consisting of 94 soil samples from Turkey and the United States with high-resolution measured data (a total of 9264 measured water retention data pairs) mainly via the HYPROP system and supplemented for some samples with measured dry-end data using the WP4C instrument. Among unimodal expressions, the FX and the K models with the Mean Absolute Error (MAE) values equal to 0.005 cm3
and 0.015 cm3
have the highest and the lowest accuracy, respectively. Overall, the alternative variants provided a better fit than the unimodal expressions. The unimodal models, except for the FX model, fail to provide reliable dry-end estimations using HYPROP data (average MAE: 0.041 cm3
, average r
: 0.52). Our results suggested that only models that account for the zero water content at the oven dryness and properly shift from the middle range to dry-end (i.e., the FX model and PDI variants) can adequately represent the full SWRC using typical data obtained via the HYPROP system.
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