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Special Issue "Soil Hydrology for a Sustainable Land Management. Theory and Practice"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Hydrology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Artemi Cerdà

Soil Erosion and Degradation Research Group. Departament de Geografia. Universitat de València. Blasco Ibàñez, 28, 46010-Valencia. Spain
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 34 (9) 6 3864237/4882
Interests: desertification; Land Degradation; Perception; forest fires
Guest Editor
Dr. Simone Di Prima

Agricultural Department, University of Sassari, Viale Italia, 39, 07100 Sassari, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: soil physics; vadose zone hydrology; hydraulic conductivity; infiltration
Guest Editor
Dr. Mirko Castellini

Council for Agricultural Research and Economics - Research Center for Agriculture and Environment (CREA-AA), Via Celso Ulpiani 5, 70125 Bari, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: soil hydrology
Guest Editor
Dr. Jesús Rodrigo-Comino

1. Department of Physical Geography, University of Trier, 54296 Trier, Germany
2. Instituto de Geomorfología y Suelos, Department of Geography, University of Málaga, 29071 Málaga, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Soil geography, soil erosion, land degradation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Soil hydrology determines the flow of water in the Earth’s system. Soil acts as an interface within the atmosphere and lithosphere, and regulates the runoff discharge, aquifer recharge and soil water content. Soil hydrology also affects the life, plant growth and soil fauna. This is why soil hydrology is a key component to achieving sustainable management. Land use changes and land management alters the soil hydrology. There is a need to develop new methods to assess those changes from a soil hydrology perspective. This Special Issue is open to advanced research on soil infiltration, soil water content, runoff discharge at different scales (from the pedon to the basin scale), plant–soil and fauna–soil relationships, and soil erosion. We wish to compile research works that will show the state-of-the-art, but also recent and advanced achievements. Theoretical, methodological and study case papers are welcome.

Prof. Dr. Artemi Cerdà
Dr. Simone Di Prima
Dr. Mirko Castellini
Dr. Jesús Rodrigo-Comino
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Hydrology
  • Infiltration
  • Soils
  • Runoff
  • Erosion

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Assessment of the Physically-Based Hydrus-1D Model for Simulating the Water Fluxes of a Mediterranean Cropping System
Water 2019, 11(8), 1657; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11081657
Received: 7 June 2019 / Revised: 5 August 2019 / Accepted: 7 August 2019 / Published: 10 August 2019
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Abstract
In a context characterized by a scarcity of water resources and a need for agriculture to cope the increase of food demand, it is of fundamental importance to increase the water use efficiency of cropping systems. This objective can be meet using several [...] Read more.
In a context characterized by a scarcity of water resources and a need for agriculture to cope the increase of food demand, it is of fundamental importance to increase the water use efficiency of cropping systems. This objective can be meet using several currently available software packages simulating water movements in the “soil–plant–atmosphere” continuum (SPAC). The goal of the paper is to discuss and optimize the strategy for implementing an effective simulation framework in order to describe the main soil water fluxes of a typical horticultural cropping system in Southern Italy based on drip-irrigated watermelon cultivation. The Hydrus-1D model was calibrated by optimizing the hydraulic parameters based on the comparison between simulated and measured soil water content values. Next, a sensitivity analysis of the hydraulic parameters of the Mualem–van Genuchten model was carried out. Hydryus-1D determined simulated soil water contents fairly well, with an average root mean square error below 9%. The main fluxes of the SPAC were confined in a restricted soil volume and were therefore well described by the one-dimensional model Hydrus-1D. Water content at saturation and the fitting parameters α and n were the parameters with the highest impact for describing the soil/plant water balance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Hydrology for a Sustainable Land Management. Theory and Practice)
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Open AccessArticle
Spatial Variability of Soil Physical and Hydraulic Properties in a Durum Wheat Field: An Assessment by the BEST-Procedure
Water 2019, 11(7), 1434; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11071434
Received: 10 June 2019 / Revised: 1 July 2019 / Accepted: 8 July 2019 / Published: 12 July 2019
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Abstract
Spatial variability of soil properties at the field scale can determine the extent of agricultural yields and specific research in this area is needed. The general objective of this study was to investigate the relationships between soil physical and hydraulic properties and wheat [...] Read more.
Spatial variability of soil properties at the field scale can determine the extent of agricultural yields and specific research in this area is needed. The general objective of this study was to investigate the relationships between soil physical and hydraulic properties and wheat yield at the field scale and test the BEST-procedure for the spatialization of soil hydraulic properties. A simplified version of the BEST-procedure, to estimate some capacitive indicators from the soil water retention curve (air capacity, ACe, relative field capacity, RFCe, plant available water capacity, PAWCe), was applied and coupled to estimates of structure stability index (SSI), determinations of soil texture and measurements of bulk density (BD), soil organic carbon (TOC) and saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks). Variables under study were spatialized to investigate correlations with observed medium-high levels of wheat yields. Soil physical quality assessment and correlations analysis highlighted some inconsistencies (i.e., a negative correlation between PAWCe and crop yield), and only five variables (i.e., clay + silt fraction, BD, TOC, SSI and PAWCe) were spatially structured. Therefore, for the soil–crop system studied, application of the simplified BEST-procedure did not return completely reliable results. Results highlighted that (i) BD was the only variable selected by stepwise analysis as a function of crop yield, (ii) BD showed a spatial distribution in agreement with that detected for crop yield, and (iii) the cross-correlation analysis showed a significant positive relationship between BD and wheat yield up to a distance of approximately 25 m. Such results have implications for Mediterranean agro-environments management. In any case, the reliability of simplified measurement methods for estimating soil hydraulic properties needs to be further verified by adopting denser measurements grids in order to better capture the soil spatial variability. In addition, the temporal stability of observed spatial relationships, i.e., between BD or soil texture and crop yields, needs to be investigated along a larger time interval in order to properly use this information for improving agronomic management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Hydrology for a Sustainable Land Management. Theory and Practice)
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Open AccessArticle
Modelling Soil Water Dynamics from Soil Hydraulic Parameters Estimated by an Alternative Method in a Tropical Experimental Basin
Water 2019, 11(5), 1007; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11051007
Received: 27 February 2019 / Revised: 30 April 2019 / Accepted: 9 May 2019 / Published: 14 May 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2596 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Knowledge about soil moisture dynamics and their relation with rainfall, evapotranspiration, and soil physical properties is fundamental for understanding the hydrological processes in a region. Given the difficulties of measurement and the scarcity of surface soil moisture data in some places such as [...] Read more.
Knowledge about soil moisture dynamics and their relation with rainfall, evapotranspiration, and soil physical properties is fundamental for understanding the hydrological processes in a region. Given the difficulties of measurement and the scarcity of surface soil moisture data in some places such as Northeast Brazil, modelling has become a robust tool to overcome such limitations. This study investigated the dynamics of soil water content in two plots in the Gameleira Experimental River Basin, Northeast Brazil. For this, Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR) probes and Hydrus-1D for modelling one-dimensional flow were used in two stages: with hydraulic parameters estimated with the Beerkan Estimation of Soil Transfer Parameters (BEST) method and optimized by inverse modelling. The results showed that the soil water content in the plots is strongly influenced by rainfall, with the greatest variability in the dry–wet–dry transition periods. The modelling results were considered satisfactory with the data estimated by the BEST method (Root Mean Square Errors, RMSE = 0.023 and 0.022 and coefficients of determination, R2 = 0.72 and 0.81) and after the optimization (RMSE = 0.012 and 0.020 and R2 = 0.83 and 0.72). The performance analysis of the simulations provided strong indications of the efficiency of parameters estimated by BEST to predict the soil moisture variability in the studied river basin without the need for calibration or complex numerical approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Hydrology for a Sustainable Land Management. Theory and Practice)
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Open AccessArticle
Time Scale Effects and Interactions of Rainfall Erosivity and Cover Management Factors on Vineyard Soil Loss Erosion in the Semi-Arid Area of Southern Sicily
Water 2019, 11(5), 978; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11050978
Received: 23 April 2019 / Revised: 2 May 2019 / Accepted: 4 May 2019 / Published: 9 May 2019
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (5517 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Several authors describe the effectiveness of cover crop management practice as an important tool to prevent soil erosion, but at the same time, they stress on the high soil loss variability due to the interaction of several factors characterized by large uncertainty. In [...] Read more.
Several authors describe the effectiveness of cover crop management practice as an important tool to prevent soil erosion, but at the same time, they stress on the high soil loss variability due to the interaction of several factors characterized by large uncertainty. In this paper the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) model is applied to two Sicilian vineyards that are characterized by different topographic factors; one is subjected to Conventional Practice (CP) and the other to Best Management Practice (BMP). By using climatic input data at a high temporal scale resolution for the rainfall erosivity (R) factor, and remotely sensed imagery for the cover and management (C) factor, the importance of an appropriate R and C factor assessment and their inter and intra-annual interactions in determining soil erosion variability are showed. Different temporal analysis at ten-year, seasonal, monthly and event scales showed that results at events scales allow evidencing the interacting factors that determine erosion risk features which at other temporal scales of resolution can be hidden. The impact of BMP in preventing soil erosion is described in terms of average saved soil loss over the 10-year period of observation. The evaluation of soil erosion at a different temporal scale and its implications can help stakeholders and scientists formulate better soil conservation practices and agricultural management, and also consider that erosivity rates are expected to raise for the increase of rainfall intensity linked to climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Hydrology for a Sustainable Land Management. Theory and Practice)
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Open AccessArticle
Recent and Future Changes in Rainfall Erosivity and Implications for the Soil Erosion Risk in Brandenburg, NE Germany
Water 2019, 11(5), 904; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11050904
Received: 15 April 2019 / Revised: 26 April 2019 / Accepted: 26 April 2019 / Published: 29 April 2019
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Abstract
The universal soil loss equation (USLE) is widely used to identify areas of erosion risk at regional scales. In Brandenburg, USLE R factors are usually estimated from summer rainfall, based on a relationship from the 1990s. We compared estimated and calculated factors of [...] Read more.
The universal soil loss equation (USLE) is widely used to identify areas of erosion risk at regional scales. In Brandenburg, USLE R factors are usually estimated from summer rainfall, based on a relationship from the 1990s. We compared estimated and calculated factors of 22 stations with 10-min rainfall data. To obtain more realistic estimations, we regressed the latter to three rainfall indices (total and heavy-rainfall sums). These models were applied to estimate future R factors of 188 climate stations. To assess uncertainties, we derived eight scenarios from 15 climate models and two representative concentration pathways (RCP), and compared the effects of index choice to the choices of climate model, RCP, and bias correction. The existing regression model underestimated the calculated R factors by 40%. Moreover, using heavy-rainfall sums instead of total sums explained the variability of current R factors better, increased their future changes, and reduced the model uncertainty. The impact of index choice on future R factors was similar to the other choices. Despite all uncertainties, the results indicate that average R factors will remain above past values. Instead, the extent of arable land experiencing excessive soil loss might double until the mid-century with RCP 8.5 and unchanged land management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Hydrology for a Sustainable Land Management. Theory and Practice)
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Open AccessArticle
Hydrodynamic Characterization of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS) by Using Beerkan Infiltration Experiments
Water 2019, 11(4), 660; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11040660
Received: 8 February 2019 / Revised: 27 March 2019 / Accepted: 27 March 2019 / Published: 30 March 2019
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Abstract
Stormwater management techniques in urban areas, such as sustainable urban drainage systems (SuDS), are designed to manage rainwater through an infiltration process. In order to determine the infiltration capacities of different SuDS and to identify their unsaturated hydraulic properties, measurements with the Beerkan [...] Read more.
Stormwater management techniques in urban areas, such as sustainable urban drainage systems (SuDS), are designed to manage rainwater through an infiltration process. In order to determine the infiltration capacities of different SuDS and to identify their unsaturated hydraulic properties, measurements with the Beerkan method (i.e., single ring infiltration tests) were carried out on four types of common infiltration structures in an urban zone of Lyon (France): A drainage ditch with an underlying storage structure, a parking lot with a waterproof pavement that transfers runoff water toward the ditch, a vegetated hollow core slab, and an embankment of a grass-covered garden that was used as a reference for rainwater infiltration capacity. The novelty of this study lies in the use of three Beerkan estimation of soil transfer parameters (BEST) algorithms: BEST-slope, BEST-intercept, and BEST-steady to analyze infiltration data. The BEST methods are based on the analysis of the infiltration rate from transient to steady-state flow. They allow the determination of both shape and scale parameters of the soil water retention curve h(θ) and the hydraulic conductivity curve K(θ). The three BEST methods are efficient and simple for hydraulic characterization of SuDS. The study of the hydrodynamic behavior of the four structures revealed the infiltration inefficiency of some of them. Their average infiltration rates are considerably lower than the reference infiltration rain garden. The results confirmed the impact of some physical conditions, such as pore structure modification due to invasive vegetation colonization and the presence of soil organic matter, on soil hydrodynamic behavior degradation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Hydrology for a Sustainable Land Management. Theory and Practice)
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Open AccessArticle
Numerical Analysis of Recharge Rates and Contaminant Travel Time in Layered Unsaturated Soils
Water 2019, 11(3), 545; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11030545
Received: 12 February 2019 / Revised: 11 March 2019 / Accepted: 12 March 2019 / Published: 16 March 2019
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Abstract
This study focused on the estimation of groundwater recharge rates and travel time of conservative contaminants between ground surface and aquifer. Numerical simulations of transient water flow and solute transport were performed using the SWAP computer program for 10 layered soil profiles, composed [...] Read more.
This study focused on the estimation of groundwater recharge rates and travel time of conservative contaminants between ground surface and aquifer. Numerical simulations of transient water flow and solute transport were performed using the SWAP computer program for 10 layered soil profiles, composed of materials ranging from gravel to clay. In particular, sensitivity of the results to the thickness and position of weakly permeable soil layers was carried out. Daily weather data set from Gdańsk (northern Poland) was used as the boundary condition. Two types of cover were considered, bare soil and grass, simulated with dynamic growth model. The results obtained with unsteady flow and transport model were compared with simpler methods for travel time estimation, based on the assumptions of steady flow and purely advective transport. The simplified methods were in reasonably good agreement with the transient modelling approach for coarse textured soils but tended to overestimate the travel time if a layer of fine textured soil was present near the surface. Thus, care should be taken when using the simplified methods to estimate vadose zone travel time and vulnerability of the underlying aquifers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Hydrology for a Sustainable Land Management. Theory and Practice)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Abandoning Agricultural Land Use on Hydrophysical Properties of Sandy Soil
Water 2019, 11(3), 525; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11030525
Received: 23 January 2019 / Revised: 8 March 2019 / Accepted: 9 March 2019 / Published: 13 March 2019
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Abstract
Soil water repellency can significantly degrade its agricultural utility and bring about
negative environmental consequences (i.e., reduced infiltration capacity, enhanced overland flow,
increased erosion rates, and water infiltration occurred in irregular patterns). The presented study
aimed to establish whether excluding albic Podzols from [...] Read more.
Soil water repellency can significantly degrade its agricultural utility and bring about
negative environmental consequences (i.e., reduced infiltration capacity, enhanced overland flow,
increased erosion rates, and water infiltration occurred in irregular patterns). The presented study
aimed to establish whether excluding albic Podzols from agricultural production and their
spontaneous inhabitation by a pine tree stand affected their hydrophysical properties. Studies with
the application of the water drop penetration time (WDPT) test showed that a change in the land
use increased the potential water repellency of the surface layer (horizon A) and caused its
changeover from strongly repellent class (Class 2) to extremely repellent (Class 5). The relationship
between soil moisture content and wettability made it possible to determine the critical soil moisture
content (CSMC) for the occurrence of the phenomenon of water repellency. It was confirmed that
the CSMC value increased along with a change in use. For the site under arable use, it was 9–10
vol.%, whereas for the site formerly under arable use and currently covered predominantly by a
pine tree stand, a value in the range of 14–16 vol.% was reached. A laboratory experiment on surface
runoff of the soil formerly under arable use showed that over half of the rainfall may be transformed
into surface runoff as a result of occurring water repellency. This means that exceeding the critical
soil moisture content makes the recharge of soil retention difficult and may significantly influence
the water balance of soil, as well as increasing its susceptibility to drought. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Hydrology for a Sustainable Land Management. Theory and Practice)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of No-Tillage and Conventional Tillage on Physical and Hydraulic Properties of Fine Textured Soils under Winter Wheat
Water 2019, 11(3), 484; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11030484
Received: 29 January 2019 / Revised: 21 February 2019 / Accepted: 1 March 2019 / Published: 7 March 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3885 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The conversion from conventional tillage (CT) to no-tillage (NT) of the soil is often suggested for positive long-term effects on several physical and hydraulic soil properties. In fact, although shortly after the conversion a worsening of the soil may occur, this transition should [...] Read more.
The conversion from conventional tillage (CT) to no-tillage (NT) of the soil is often suggested for positive long-term effects on several physical and hydraulic soil properties. In fact, although shortly after the conversion a worsening of the soil may occur, this transition should evolve in a progressive improvement of soil properties. Therefore, investigations aiming at evaluating the effects of NT on porous media are advisable, since such information may be relevant to better address the farmers’ choices to this specific soil conservation management strategy. In this investigation, innovative and standard methods were applied to compare CT and NT on two farms where the conversion took place 6 or 24 years ago, respectively. Regardless of the investigated farm, results showed negligible differences in cumulative infiltration or infiltration rate, soil sorptivity, saturated hydraulic conductivity, conductive pores size, or hydraulic conductivity functions. Since relatively small discrepancies were also highlighted in terms of bulk density or soil organic carbon, it was possible to conclude that NT did not have a negative impact on the main physical and hydraulic properties of investigated clay soils. However, a significantly higher number of small pores was detected under long-term NT compared to CT, so we concluded that the former soil was a more conductive pore system, i.e., consisting of numerous relatively smaller pores but continuous and better interconnected. Based on measured capacity-based indicators (macroporosity, air capacity, relative field capacity, plant available water capacity), NT always showed a more appropriate proportion of water and air in the soil. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Hydrology for a Sustainable Land Management. Theory and Practice)
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Open AccessArticle
Recovery of Soil Hydraulic Properties for Assisted Passive and Active Restoration: Assessing Historical Land Use and Forest Structure
Water 2019, 11(1), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11010086
Received: 22 November 2018 / Revised: 26 December 2018 / Accepted: 28 December 2018 / Published: 7 January 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3471 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Tree planting and natural regeneration are the main approaches to achieve global forest restoration targets, affecting multiple hydrological processes, such as infiltration of rainfall. Our understanding of the effect of land use history and vegetation on the recovery of water infiltration and soil [...] Read more.
Tree planting and natural regeneration are the main approaches to achieve global forest restoration targets, affecting multiple hydrological processes, such as infiltration of rainfall. Our understanding of the effect of land use history and vegetation on the recovery of water infiltration and soil attributes in both restoration strategies is limited. Therefore, we investigated the recovery of top-soil saturated soil hydraulic conductivity (Ks), soil physical and hydraulic properties in five land use types: (i) a secondary old-growth forest; (ii) a forest established through assisted passive restoration 11 years ago; (iii) an actively restored forest, with a more intensive land use history and 11 years of age; (iv) a pasture with low-intensity use; and (v) a pasture with high-intensity use, in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. For these land use types, we determined the historical land use patterns and conducted soil sampling, using the Beerkan method to determine Ks values in the field. We also measured tree basal area, canopy cover, vegetation height, tree density and species richness in forest covers. The Ks decreased when land use was more intense prior to forest restoration actions. Our results indicate that land use legacy is a crucial factor to explain the current difference in soil and vegetation attributes among study sites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Hydrology for a Sustainable Land Management. Theory and Practice)
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Open AccessArticle
Automated Laboratory Infiltrometer to Estimate Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity Using an Arduino Microcontroller Board
Water 2018, 10(12), 1867; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10121867
Received: 29 November 2018 / Revised: 12 December 2018 / Accepted: 14 December 2018 / Published: 17 December 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3600 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper describes the design, calibration and testing processes of a new device named Automated Laboratory Infiltrometer (ALI). It allows to determinate in laboratory, under controlled conditions the saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) of altered or unaltered soil samples which is a key parameter [...] Read more.
This paper describes the design, calibration and testing processes of a new device named Automated Laboratory Infiltrometer (ALI). It allows to determinate in laboratory, under controlled conditions the saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) of altered or unaltered soil samples which is a key parameter to understand the movement of water through a porous medium. The ALI combines the advantages of three different approaches: measures vertical infiltration rates in a soil column, measures the actual volumes of vertically drained water through the soil column, and finally, uses heat as a natural tracer to determinate water flux rates through the porous medium; all those parameters are used to determinate Ks. The ALI was developed using the popular Arduino microcontroller board and commercially available sensors that give the whole system a low cost. Data from the ALI are recorded in a microSD memory so they can be easily read from any spreadsheet software helping to reduce time consuming and avoiding reading errors. The performance of this device was evaluated by comparing the water flow rates determined by the three approaches for which is designed; an excellent correlation among them was observed (worst correlation: R2 = 0.9826 and r-RSME = 0.94%). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Hydrology for a Sustainable Land Management. Theory and Practice)
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Open AccessArticle
How do Soil Moisture and Vegetation Covers Influence Soil Temperature in Drylands of Mediterranean Regions?
Water 2018, 10(12), 1747; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10121747
Received: 27 October 2018 / Revised: 24 November 2018 / Accepted: 25 November 2018 / Published: 28 November 2018
PDF Full-text (2501 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Interactions between land and atmosphere directly influence hydrometeorological processes and, therefore, the local climate. However, because of heterogeneity of vegetation covers these feedbacks can change over small areas, becoming more complex. This study aims to define how the interactions between soil moisture and [...] Read more.
Interactions between land and atmosphere directly influence hydrometeorological processes and, therefore, the local climate. However, because of heterogeneity of vegetation covers these feedbacks can change over small areas, becoming more complex. This study aims to define how the interactions between soil moisture and vegetation covers influence soil temperatures in very water-limited environments. In order to do that, soil water content and soil temperature were continuously monitored with a frequency of 30 min over two and half hydrological years, using capacitance and temperature sensors that were located in open grasslands and below tree canopies. The study was carried out on three study areas located in drylands of Mediterranean climate. Results highlighted the importance of soil moisture and vegetation cover in modifying soil temperatures. During daytime and with low soil moisture conditions, daily maximum soil temperatures were, on average, 7.1 °C lower below tree canopies than in the air, whereas they were 4.2 °C higher in grasslands than in the air. As soil wetness decreased, soil temperature increased, although this effect was significantly weaker below tree canopies than in grasslands. Both high soil water content and the effect of shading were reflected in a decrease of maximum soil temperatures and of their daily amplitudes. Statistical analysis emphasized the influence of soil temperature on soil water reduction, regardless of vegetation cover. If soil moisture deficits become more frequent due to climate change, variations in soil temperature could increase, affecting hydrometeorological processes and local climate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Hydrology for a Sustainable Land Management. Theory and Practice)
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