Review of Soil Water Retention Characteristic (SWRC) Models between Saturation and Oven Dryness


Soil water retention characteristic is the key soil property used in many applications in the fields of irrigation, hydrology, geotechnical engineering and soil science in general. Since the advent of digital soil mapping and digital soil assessment paradigms, there has been an upsurge of development of soil inference models and the need to increase accurate application of soil mapping products. All soils can be partially saturated with water and also near oven dryness. Therefore, constitutive models for soils should ideally represent the soil behaviour over entire range. This paper reviewed commonly used SWRC models. In order to stem potential for biasness, the models were grouped into three categories depending on the number of fitting parameters, namely, five-parameter, four-parameter and three-parameter categories. The evaluation used correlation and residual standard error statistics to choose the best overall performing model and in each category. Its results serve as a guide for selecting the models to be preferred for fitting SWRC in case there are limitations to the number of suction potential levels in the measured data.

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Too, V. , Omuto, C. , Biamah, E. and Obiero, J. (2014) Review of Soil Water Retention Characteristic (SWRC) Models between Saturation and Oven Dryness. Open Journal of Modern Hydrology, 4, 173-182. doi: 10.4236/ojmh.2014.44017.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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