Performance evaluation of four-parameter models of the soil-water characteristic curve.
ABSTRACT: Soil-water characteristic curves (SWCCs) are important in terms of groundwater recharge, agriculture, and soil chemistry. These relationships are also of considerable value in geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering. Their measurement, however, is difficult, expensive, and time-consuming. Many empirical models have been developed to describe the SWCC. Statistical assessment of soil-water characteristic curve models found that exponential-based model equations were the most difficult to fit and generally provided the poorest fit to the soil-water characteristic data. In this paper, an exponential-based model is devised to describe the SWCC. The modified equation is similar to those previously reported by Gardner (1956) but includes exponential variable. Verification was performed with 24 independent data sets for a wide range of soil textures. Prediction results were compared with the most widely used models to assess the model's performance. It was proven that the exponential-based equation of the modified model provided greater flexibility and a better fit to data on various types of soil.
Project description:Loosely packed sand that is saturated with water can liquefy during an earthquake, potentially causing significant damage. Once the shaking is over, the excess pore water pressures that developed during the earthquake gradually dissipate, while the surface of the soil settles, in a process called post-liquefaction reconsolidation. When examining reconsolidation, the soil is typically divided in liquefied and solidified parts, which are modelled separately. The aim of this paper is to show that this fragmentation is not necessary. By assuming that the hydraulic conductivity and the one-dimensional stiffness of liquefied sand have real, positive values, the equation of consolidation can be numerically solved throughout a reconsolidating layer. Predictions made in this manner show good agreement with geotechnical centrifuge experiments. It is shown that the variation of one-dimensional stiffness with effective stress and void ratio is the most crucial parameter in accurately capturing reconsolidation.
Project description:The kinetics of fusion between Newcastle disease virus and erythrocyte ghosts has been investigated with the octadecyl Rhodamine B chloride assay [Hoekstra, De Boer, Klappe, and Wilschut (1984) Biochemistry 23, 5675-5681], and the data from the dequenching curves were fitted by non-linear regression to currently used kinetic models. We used direct computer-assisted fitting of the dequenching curves to the mathematical equations. Discrimination between models was performed by statistical analysis of different fits. The experimental data fit the exponential model previously published [Nir, Klappe, and Hoekstra (1986) Biochemistry 25, 2155-2161] but we describe for the first time that the best fit was achieved for the sum of two exponential terms: A1[1-exp(-k1t)]+A2[1-exp(-k2t)]. The first exponential term represents a fast reaction and the second a slow dequenching reaction. These findings reveal the existence of two independent, but simultaneous, processes during the fusion assay. In order to challenge the model and to understand the meaning of both equation, fusion experiments were carried out under different conditions well known to affect viral fusion (changes in pH, temperature and ghost concentration, and the presence of disulphide-reducing agents or inhibitors of viral neuraminidase activity), and the same computer fitting scheme was followed. The first exponential equation represents the viral protein-dependent fusion process itself, because it is affected by the assay conditions. The second exponential equation accounts for a nonspecific reaction, because it is completely independent of the assay conditions and hence of the viral proteins. An interpretation of this second process is discussed in terms of probe transfer between vesicles.
Project description:Modifications to the rates of water flowing from the surface to groundwater (groundwater recharge) due to climate variability are the most difficult to assess because of the lack of direct long-term observations. Here, we analyze the chloride salt distribution below the surface soil on a plateau near Los Angeles to reconstruct the amount of recharge that occurred in the last five centuries. Over this time interval, periods of major high and low recharge with different duration follow each other and this cyclicity is consistent with long-term atmospheric forcing patterns, such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. This study determines the range and the natural variability of recharge to groundwater, which sustains local freshwater flow system, and helps forecast future availability of groundwater resource in southern California, where water scarcity is critical to both local and global populations.
Project description:Recently the distributed fibre optic strain sensing (DFOSS) technique has been applied to monitor deformations of various earth structures. However, the reliability of soil deformation measurements remains unclear. Here we present an integrated DFOSS- and photogrammetry-based test study on the deformation behaviour of a soil foundation model to highlight the role of strain sensing fibre-soil interface in DFOSS-based geotechnical monitoring. Then we investigate how the fibre-soil interfacial behaviour is influenced by environmental changes, and how the strain distribution along the fibre evolves during progressive interface failure. We observe that the fibre-soil interfacial bond is tightened and the measurement range of the fibre is extended under high densities or low water contents of soil. The plastic zone gradually occupies the whole fibre length when the soil deformation accumulates. Consequently, we derive a theoretical model to simulate the fibre-soil interfacial behaviour throughout the progressive failure process, which accords well with the experimental results. On this basis, we further propose that the reliability of measured strain can be determined by estimating the stress state of the fibre-soil interface. These findings may have important implications for interpreting and evaluating fibre optic strain measurements, and implementing reliable DFOSS-based geotechnical instrumentation.
Project description:The impact of climate variability on the water cycle in desert ecosystems is controlled by biospheric feedback at interannual to millennial timescales. This paper describes a unique field dataset from weighing lysimeters beneath nonvegetated and vegetated systems that unequivocally demonstrates the role of vegetation dynamics in controlling water cycle response to interannual climate variability related to El Nino southern oscillation in the Mojave Desert. Extreme El Nino winter precipitation (2.3-2.5 times normal) typical of the U.S. Southwest would be expected to increase groundwater recharge, which is critical for water resources in semiarid and arid regions. However, lysimeter data indicate that rapid increases in vegetation productivity in response to elevated winter precipitation reduced soil water storage to half of that in a nonvegetated lysimeter, thereby precluding deep drainage below the root zone that would otherwise result in groundwater recharge. Vegetation dynamics have been controlling the water cycle in interdrainage desert areas throughout the U.S. Southwest, maintaining dry soil conditions and upward soil water flow since the last glacial period (10,000-15,000 yr ago), as shown by soil water chloride accumulations. Although measurements are specific to the U.S. Southwest, correlations between satellite-based vegetation productivity and elevated precipitation related to El Nino southern oscillation indicate this model may be applicable to desert basins globally. Understanding the two-way coupling between vegetation dynamics and the water cycle is critical for predicting how climate variability influences hydrology and water resources in water-limited landscapes.
Project description:The parameters in Richards' equation are usually calculated from experimentally measured values of the soil-water characteristic curve and saturated hydraulic conductivity. The complex pore structures that often occur in porous media complicate such parametrization due to hysteresis between wetting and drying and the effects of tortuosity. Rather than estimate the parameters in Richards' equation from these indirect measurements, image-based modelling is used to investigate the relationship between the pore structure and the parameters. A three-dimensional, X-ray computed tomography image stack of a soil sample with voxel resolution of 6 μm has been used to create a computational mesh. The Cahn-Hilliard-Stokes equations for two-fluid flow, in this case water and air, were applied to this mesh and solved using the finite-element method in COMSOL Multiphysics. The upscaled parameters in Richards' equation are then obtained via homogenization. The effect on the soil-water retention curve due to three different contact angles, 0°, 20° and 60°, was also investigated. The results show that the pore structure affects the properties of the flow on the large scale, and different contact angles can change the parameters for Richards' equation.
Project description:Recent theory and field observations suggest that a systematically varying weathering zone, that can be tens of meters thick, commonly develops in the bedrock underlying hillslopes. Weathering turns otherwise poorly conductive bedrock into a dynamic water storage reservoir. Infiltrating precipitation typically will pass through unsaturated weathered bedrock before reaching groundwater and running off to streams. This invisible and difficult to access unsaturated zone is virtually unexplored compared with the surface soil mantle. We have proposed the term "rock moisture" to describe the exchangeable water stored in the unsaturated zone in weathered bedrock, purposely choosing a term parallel to, but distinct from, soil moisture, because weathered bedrock is a distinctly different material that is distributed across landscapes independently of soil thickness. Here, we report a multiyear intensive campaign of quantifying rock moisture across a hillslope underlain by a thick weathered bedrock zone using repeat neutron probe measurements in a suite of boreholes. Rock moisture storage accumulates in the wet season, reaches a characteristic upper value, and rapidly passes any additional rainfall downward to groundwater. Hence, rock moisture storage mediates the initiation and magnitude of recharge and runoff. In the dry season, rock moisture storage is gradually depleted by trees for transpiration, leading to a common lower value at the end of the dry season. Up to 27% of the annual rainfall is seasonally stored as rock moisture. Significant rock moisture storage is likely common, and yet it is missing from hydrologic and land-surface models used to predict regional and global climate.
Project description:Woody plant encroachment (WPE) into grasslands is a global phenomenon that is associated with land degradation via xerification, which replaces grasses with shrubs and bare soil patches. It remains uncertain how the global processes of WPE and climate change may combine to impact water availability for ecosystems. Using a process-based model constrained by watershed observations, our results suggest that both xerification and climate change augment groundwater recharge by increasing channel transmission losses at the expense of plant available water. Conversion from grasslands to shrublands without creating additional bare soil, however, reduces transmission losses. Model simulations considering both WPE and climate change are used to assess their relative roles in a late 21st century condition. Results indicate that changes in focused channel recharge are determined primarily by the WPE pathway. As a result, WPE should be given consideration when assessing the vulnerability of groundwater aquifers to climate change.
Project description:Water scarcity constrains the livelihoods of millions of people in tropical drylands. Tree planting in these environments is generally discouraged due to the large water consumption by trees, but this view may neglect their potential positive impacts on water availability. The effect of trees on soil hydraulic properties linked to groundwater recharge is poorly understood. In this study, we performed 18 rainfall simulations and tracer experiments in an agroforestry parkland in Burkina Faso to investigate the effect of trees and associated termite mounds on soil infiltrability and preferential flow. The sampling points were distributed in transects each consisting of three positions: (i) under a single tree, (ii) in the middle of an open area, and (iii) under a tree associated with a termite mound. The degree of preferential flow was quantified through parameters based on the dye infiltration patterns, which were analyzed using image analysis of photographs. Our results show that the degree of preferential flow was highest under trees associated with termite mounds, intermediate under single trees, and minimal in the open areas. Tree density also had an influence on the degree of preferential flow, with small open areas having more preferential flow than large ones. Soil infiltrability was higher under single trees than in the open areas or under trees associated with a termite mound. The findings from this study demonstrate that trees have a positive impact on soil hydraulic properties influencing groundwater recharge, and thus such effects must be considered when evaluating the impact of trees on water resources in drylands. KEY POINTS:Trees in dryland landscapes increase soil infiltrability and preferential flow Termite mounds in association with trees further enhance preferential flow.