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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Scaling Water Retention Curves for Soils with Lognormal Pore-Size Distribution


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 62 No. 6, p. 1496-1505
    Received: Aug 15, 1997

    * Corresponding author(s): jwhopmans@ucdavis.edu
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  1. K. Kosugi and
  2. J. W. Hopmans 
  1. Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto Univ., Kyoto 6068502, Japan
    Dep. of Land, Air, and Water Resources, Hydrology Program, Univ. of California, Davis, CA 95616



The scaling theory approach has been widely used as an effective method to describe the variation of soil hydraulic properties. In conventional scaling, reference retention curves and scaling factors are determined from minimization of residuals. Most previous studies have shown that scaling factors are lognormally distributed. In this study, we derived physically based scaling factors, assuming that soils are characterized by a lognormal pore-size distribution function. The theory was tested for three sets of retention data. Two data sets included samples of a sandy loam soil, and one set included samples of a loamy sand soil. Individual soil water retention data were fitted to the retention model proposed by Kosugi (1996). The parameters of the model are the mean and variance of the log-transformed poreradius distribution. Scaling factors and parameters of the reference curve were computed directly from the parameters of individual soil water retention functions. Assuming that (i) the soil pore radius of a study area is lognormally distributed and (ii) soil samples are obtained from random sampling of effective soil pore volume from the study area, we have proposed a theoretical interpretation of the lognormal scaling factor distribution. Scaling results for all three data sets compared well with those obtained using the conventionals caling method.

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