Assessing the performance of thermal inertia and Hydrus models to estimate surface soil water content

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Abstract

The knowledge of soil water content (SWC) dynamics in the upper soil layer is important for several hydrological processes. Due to the difficulty of assessing the spatial and temporal SWC dynamics in the field, some model-based approaches have been proposed during the last decade. The main objective of this work was to assess the performance of two approaches to estimate SWC in the upper soil layer under field conditions: the physically-based thermal inertia and the Hydrus model. Their validity was firstly assessed under controlled laboratory conditions. Thermal inertia was firstly validated in laboratory conditions using the transient line heat source (TLHS) method. Then, it was applied in situ to analyze the dynamics of soil thermal properties under two extreme conditions of soil-water status (well-watered and air-dry), using proximity remote-sensed data. The model performance was assessed using sensor-based measurements of soil water content acquired through frequency (FDR) and time domain reflectometry (TDR). During the laboratory experiment, the Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) was 0.02 m3 m??3 for the Hydrus model and 0.05 m3m-3for the TLHS model approach. On the other hand, during the in situ experiment, the temporal variability of SWCs simulated by the Hydrus model and the corresponding values measured by the TDR method evidenced good agreement (RMSE ranging between 0.01 and 0.005 m3m-3). Similarly, the average of the SWCs derived from the thermal diffusion model was fairly close to those estimated by Hydrus (spatially averaged RMSE ranging between 0.03 and 0.02 m3m-3).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalAPPLIED SCIENCES
Volume7
Publication statusPublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Applied Mathematics

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