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Article

A Comparison and Validation of Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity Models

1
Institute of Water Security and Science, West Virginia University, Agricultural Sciences Building, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA
2
Division of Plant and Soil Sciences, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, West Virginia University, Agricultural Sciences Building, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA
3
Division of Forestry and Natural Resources, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, West Virginia University, Agricultural Sciences Building, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(7), 2040; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12072040
Received: 26 June 2020 / Revised: 14 July 2020 / Accepted: 16 July 2020 / Published: 18 July 2020
Saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat) is fundamental to shallow groundwater processes. There is an ongoing need for observed and model validated Ksat values. A study was initiated in a representative catchment of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed in the Northeast USA, to collect observed Ksat and validate five Ksat pedotransfer functions. Soil physical characteristics were quantified for dry bulk density (bdry), porosity, and soil texture, while Ksat was quantified using piezometric slug tests. Average bdry and porosity ranged from 1.03 to 1.30 g/cm3 and 0.51 to 0.61, respectively. Surface soil (0–5 cm) bdry and porosity were significantly (p < 0.05) lower and higher, respectively, than deeper soils (i.e., 25–30 cm; 45–50 cm). bdry and porosity were significantly different with location (p < 0.05). Average soil composition was 92% sand. Average Ksat ranged from 0.29 to 4.76 m/day and significantly differed (p < 0.05) by location. Four models showed that spatial variability in farm-scale Ksat estimates was small (CV < 0.5) and one model performed better when Ksat was 1.5 to 2.5 m/day. The two-parameter model that relied on silt/clay fractions performed best (ME = 0.78 m/day; SSE = 20.68 m2/day2; RMSE = 1.36 m/day). Results validate the use of simple, soil-property-based models to predict Ksat, thereby increasing model applicability and transferability. View Full-Text
Keywords: saturated hydraulic conductivity; pedotransfer function; model validation; Chesapeake Bay Watershed; experimental watershed study saturated hydraulic conductivity; pedotransfer function; model validation; Chesapeake Bay Watershed; experimental watershed study
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gootman, K.S.; Kellner, E.; Hubbart, J.A. A Comparison and Validation of Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity Models. Water 2020, 12, 2040. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12072040

AMA Style

Gootman KS, Kellner E, Hubbart JA. A Comparison and Validation of Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity Models. Water. 2020; 12(7):2040. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12072040

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gootman, Kaylyn S., Elliott Kellner, and Jason A. Hubbart 2020. "A Comparison and Validation of Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity Models" Water 12, no. 7: 2040. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12072040

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