Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 31107
Prediction of Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity Dynamics in an Iowan Agriculture Watershed

Authors: Mohamed Elhakeem, A. N. Thanos Papanicolaou, Christopher Wilson, Yi-Jia Chang


In this study, a physically-based, modeling framework was developed to predict saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat) dynamics in the Clear Creek Watershed (CCW), Iowa. The modeling framework integrated selected pedotransfer functions and watershed models with geospatial tools. A number of pedotransfer functions and agricultural watershed models were examined to select the appropriate models that represent the study site conditions. Models selection was based on statistical measures of the models’ errors compared to the Ksat field measurements conducted in the CCW under different soil, climate and land use conditions. The study has shown that the predictions of the combined pedotransfer function of Rosetta and the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) provided the best agreement to the measured Ksat values in the CCW compared to the other tested models. Therefore, Rosetta and WEPP were integrated with the Geographic Information System (GIS) tools for visualization of the data in forms of geospatial maps and prediction of Ksat variability in CCW due to the seasonal changes in climate and land use activities. 

Keywords: Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity, pedotransfer functions, watershed models, geospatial tools

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 2143


[1] R. E. Smith, Infiltration Theory for Hydrologic Applications, American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, 2002.
[2] A. N. Papanicolaou, and O. Abaci, "Upland Erosion Modeling in a Semihumid Environment via the Water Erosion Prediction Project Model,” Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering, 134-6(2008) 796-806.
[3] M. Elhakeem, and A. N. Papanicolaou, "Estimation of the Runoff Curve Number via Direct Rainfall Simulator Measurements in the State of Iowa, USA,” Water Resources Management, 23-12(2009) 2455-2473.
[4] M. A. Nearing, B. Y. Liu, L. M. Risse, and X. Zhang, "Curve Numbers and Green-Ampt Effective Hydraulic Conductivities,” Water Resources Bulletin, 32-1(1996) 125-136.
[5] H. Lin, "Hydropedology: Bridging Disciplines, Scales, and Data,” Vadose Zone Journal, 2(2003) 1-11.
[6] L.T. West, M.A. Abreu, and J. P. Bishop, "Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity of Soils in the Southern Piedmont of Georgia, USA: Field Evaluation and Relation to Horizon and Landscape Properties,” Catena, 73(2008) 174-179.
[7] R. K. Gupta, R. P. Rudra, and G. Parkin, "Analysis of Spatial Variability of Hydraulic Conductivity at Field Scale,” Canadian Biosystems Engineering, 48(1996) 55-62.
[8] M. Elhakeem, and A. N. Papanicolaou, "Estimation of Runoff Curve Number and Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity via Direct Rainfall Simulator Measurements,” CHI Conference, Feb. 24-25, Toronto, 2011.
[9] L. M. Risse, B. Y. Liu, and M. A. Nearing, "Using Curve Numbers to Determine Base-Line Values of Green-Ampt Effective Hydraulic Conductivities,” Water Resources Bulletin, 31-1(1995) 147-158.
[10] M. G. Schaap, F. J. Leij, and M. T. van Genuchten, "Neural Network Analysis for Hierarchical Prediction of Soil Hydraulic Properties,” Soil Science Society of America Journal, 62-4(1998) 847-855.
[11] R. E. Smith, D. C. Goodrich, and J. N. Quinton, "Dynamic Distributed Simulation of Watershed Erosion: The Kineros 2 and Eurosem Models”, Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, 50- 5(1995) 517-520.
[12] A. N. Papanicolaou, C. L. Burras, M. Elhakeem, and C. G. Wilson, Phase I: Field and Laboratory Investigation of Infiltration on Different Geomorphic Surfaces in a Watershed and under Different Land Uses, A Report Prepared for USDA-National Soil Survey Center, Lincoln, Nebraska, 2008.
[13] B. E. Vieux, Distributed Hydrologic Modeling Using GIS, Springer-Verlag New York Inc., New York, 2004.
[14] M. Shahin, H. L. van Orschot, and S. J. Delange, Statistical Analysis in Water Resources Engineering, A. A. Balkema, Rotterdam, Netherlands, 1993.
[15] P. O. Scokaert, D. Q. Mayne, and J. B. Rawlings, "A New Look at the Statistical Model Identification,” IEEE Transactions On Automatic Control, (1974) 716-723.
[16] H. Kirnak, "Comparison of Erosion and Runoff Predicted by WEPP and AGNPS Models Using a Geographic Information System,” Turkish Journal of Agriculture Forum, 26(2002) 261-268.
[17] O. Tietje, and O. Richter, "Stochastic Modeling of the Unsaturated Water Flow Using Autocorrelation Spatially Variable Hydraulic Parameters,” Modeling Geo-Biosphere Processes, 1-2(1992) 163-183.
[18] B. J. Cosby, G. M. Hornberger, R. B. Clapp, and T. R. Ginn, "A Statistical Exploration of the Relationships of Soil-Moisture Characteristics to the Physical Properties of Soils,” Water Resources Research, 20- 6 (1984) 682-690.
[19] D. L. Brakensiek, W. J. Rawls, and G. R. Stephenson, "Modifying SCS Hydrologic Soil Groups and Curve Numbers for Rengeland Soils,” American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, (1984) 184-203.
[20] K. E. Saxton, W. J. Rawls, J. S. Romberger, and R. I. Papendick, "Estimating Generalized Soil-Water Characteristics from Texture,” Soil Science Society of America Journal, 50- 4(1986) 1031-1036.
[21] W. J. Rawls, and D. L. Brakensiek, "Prediction of Soil Water Properties for Hydrologic Modeling,” Preceedings of Symposium on Watershed Management, 293-299, New York, 1985.
[22] H. Vereecken, J. Maes, and J. Feyen, "Estimating Unsaturated Hydraulic Conductivity from Easily Measured Soil Properties,” Soil Science, 149-1(1990) 1-12.
[23] J. D. Jabro, "Estimation of Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity of Soils from Particle-Size Distribution and Bulk-Density Data,” Transactions of the ASAE, 35-2 (1992) 557-560.
[24] J. H., Dane, and W. Puckett, "Field Soil Hydraulic Properties Based On Physical and Mineralogical Information,” van Genuchten, M. T. et al. (ed): Proceedings of the International Workshop on Indirect Method for Estimation Hydraulic Properties of Unsaturated Soils. Riverside, CA: University of California, (1994) 389-403.
[25] G. S. Campbell, and S. Shiozawa, "Prediction of Hydraulic Properties of Soils Using Particle-Size Distribution and Bulk Density data,” van Genuchten, M. T. et al. (ed): Proceedings of the International Workshop on Indirect Method for Estimation Hydraulic Properties of Unsaturated Soils. Riverside, CA: University of California, (1994) 317-328.
[26] J. H. Wosten, A. Lilly, A. Nemes, and C. Le Bas, "Development and Use of a Database of Hydraulic Properties of European Soils,” Geoderma, 90(1999) 169-185.
[27] M. G. Schaap, Rosetta: Version 1.0, U.S. Salinity Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service- USDA, Riverside, California, 1999.
[28] T. J. Coulthard, M. G. Macklin, and M. J. Kirkby, "A Cellular model of Holocene Upland River Basin and Alluvial Fan Evolution,” Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 27-3(2002) 269-288.
[29] Y. Chang, Predictions of Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity Dynamics in a Midwestern Agriculture Watershed, Iowa, M. Sc. Thesis, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA, 2010.
[30] United States Department of Agricultural (USDA), Land Resource Regions and Major Land Resource Areas of the United States, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Basin, NRCS Major Land Resource Areas Explorer Custom Report. 2008, (accessed July 31, 2008).
[31] J. D. Highland, and R. I. Dideriksen, Soil Survey of Iowa County, USDA-SCS, Iowa, 1967.