Estimation of Water Retention Curve for Soils of Bahia, Brazil, Based on Soil Particle-Size Analysis

  •  Felipe Gomes Frederico da Silveira    
  •  Luciano da Silva Souza    
  •  Laércio Duarte Souza    
  •  João de Mendonça Naime    
  •  Carlos Manoel Pedro Vaz    


Soil water retention curve (SWRC) is an important soil attribute because it is a soil quality indicator and is fundamental to study water dynamics in the soil-plant-atmosphere system. Since the conventional SWRC determination is laborious and time-consuming, making it difficult to process a large volume of samples, pedotransfer functions have been used to estimate it by using other soil physical attributes easily determined. Thus, this study aimed to apply Arya-Paris model to SWRC estimation for soils of Bahia state, Brazil, based on soil particle-size analysis, and to compare estimated and determined data of SWRC. Samples were collected from horizons A and AB and/or B and/or C, for a total of 15 soils and 62 horizons. Particle-size was determined by automatic soil particle-size analyzer (PSA) based on g-ray attenuation and traditional Bouyoucos’ hydrometer (BH) method. Arya-Paris model showed better SWRC predictions for sandy soils, followed by clayey, loamy, and very clayey soils. Good model performance was observed for all soils together. The α 1 scaling factor provided better predictions, followed by α 3, and α 2 showed unsatisfactory behavior. BH method, using only 7 soil particle-size fractions, gave slightly higher predictions than PSA using 30 soil particle-size fractions.

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