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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Status of Pedotransfer Functions

Authors
item Pachepsky, Yakov
item Rawls, Walter

Submitted to: Development of Pedotransfer Functions in Soil Hydrology
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: May 27, 2004
Publication Date: November 30, 2004
Citation: Pachepsky, Y.A., Rawls, W.J. 2004. Status of pedotransfer functions. Development of Pedotransfer Functions in Soil Hydrology. p.7-16.

Interpretive Summary: Environmental and agricultural modeling and assessment have a multitude of uses for soil parameters governing retention and transport of water and chemicals in soils. These parameters are notorious for the difficulties and high labor costs involved in measuring them. Good estimates instead of direct measurements may be accurate enough for many applications. Pedotransfer functions provide such estimates by utilizing available soil survey information to translate data we have into data we need. This chapter presents the overview of the book "Development of Pedotransfer Functions in Soil Hydrology" and details trends and opportunities in PTF development and use. The book is a unique compendium of ideas, conceptual approaches, techniques, and methodologies for estimating soil hydraulic and related parameters from readily available soil data. The first single-source reference in this fast developing field, the book will help readers develop a greater understanding of how to parameterize hydrological processes using information on soil texture, soil structure, organic matter content, chemical, mineralogical, and mechanical properties, topographical information and remote sensing data. The book contains contributions by acknowledged experts from across the globe and provides case studies for several regions of the World. The authors present the state-of-the-art in addressing the fundamental issues of accuracy, reliability, and utility of pedotransfer functions. The book also offers novel approaches based on data mining, artificial intelligence, fuzzy logic, and modern statistics to discover pedotransfer relationships to estimate soil water retention, soil hydraulic conductivity, parameters of solute retention and transport, and parameters of soil erosion processes. Both developers and users of pedotransfer functions engineers across a range of soil-related disciplines will benefit from the comprehensive reviews, specific examples, and user-oriented approaches.

Technical Abstract: Agricultural and environmental modeling and assessment have many uses for soil parameters governing retention and transport of water and chemicals in soils. These properties are notorious for the difficulties and high labor costs involved in measuring them. Often, there is a need to resort to estimating modeling-related soil parameters from other readily available data. Recently, statistical regression equations expressing relationships between soil properties are called pedotransfer functions (PTFs). This chapter presents the overview of the book and details trends and opportunities in PTF development and use. This book is the first book on the topic. It provides the unique compendium of pedotransfer functions, summarizes the vast international experience in this field, and shows how the value of soil data can be increased by using them in pedotransfer functions to predict soil hydrologic and related properties. Statistical regression and data mining techniques to develop PTFs are explained. Estimation of soil water retention and hydraulic conductivity can be enhances using such PTF inputs as texture, organic carbon content, soil morphological attributes and soil structure, aggregate composition, mineralogical and chemical information, and employing preliminary grouping of soils. Pedotransfer functions are developed for parameters of soil erosion, solute adsorption and transport, shrinkage, and key soil water contents. Spatial component in PTF development can be enhanced by using remote sensing, terrain analysis, and geostatistics. Progress in user friendliness of PTFs is reflected in development of soil inference systems, graphic user interfaces, and methods to evaluate pedotransfer functions. Regional PTF development is represented by PTFs for USA, for soils of tripics, for Europe, and by two contrywide studies. State-of-the art and progress in PTF accuracy, reliability, and utility are discussed. The book is a rich source of information crucial for environmental research and applications.

Last Modified: 11/23/2014
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