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Comparison Of Class And Continuous Pedotransfer Functions To Generate Soil Hydraulic Characteristics

J. Wösten, P. Finke, M. W. Jansen
Published 1995 · Geology

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Abstract Class pedotransfer functions were used to generate average hydraulic characteristics for distinct soil texture classes. Continuous pedotransfer functions were used to generate soil hydraulic characteristics from the actually measured median of the sand particle size, bulk density and percentages clay, silt and organic matter. Both approaches were used to predict the soil physical input data to calculate five different functional aspects of soil behaviour. The functional aspects were: number of workable days, number of days with adequate soil aeration, elapsed time until 10% breakthrough of chloride, amount of cadmium leached after one year and amount of Isoproturon leached after one year. Simulations of water and solute transport were made for 88 profiles which form a statistically representative set of profiles for cover sands in the northeastern part of the Netherlands. The calculated number of workable days did not depend on the type of pedotransfer used. However, the differences between the class and continuous pedotransfer function approach were significant for the other four functional aspects of soil behaviour. For adsorbing cadmium and adsorbing and degradable Isoproturon, differences between the two approaches were statistically significant because they were systematic. However, these differences were so small that they were irrelevant in practice. When to prefer which approach was ambiguous and depended on the functional aspect under consideration. When differences were not significant or irrelevant in practice, the cheaper and easier to use class pedotransfer function approach is preferred over the continuous pedotransfer function approach.
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