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SoilKsatDB: global database of soil saturated hydraulic conductivity measurements for geoscience applications

Gupta, S; Hengl, T; Lehmann, P; Bonetti, S; Or, D; (2021) SoilKsatDB: global database of soil saturated hydraulic conductivity measurements for geoscience applications. Earth System Science Data , 13 (4) pp. 1593-1612. 10.5194/essd-13-1593-2021. Green open access

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Abstract

The saturated soil hydraulic conductivity (Ksat) is a key parameter in many hydrological and climate models. Ksat values are primarily determined from basic soil properties and may vary over several orders of magnitude. Despite the availability of Ksat datasets in the literature, significant efforts are required to combine the data before they can be used for specific applications. In this work, a total of 13 258 Ksat measurements from 1908 sites were assembled from the published literature and other sources, standardized (i.e., units made identical), and quality checked in order to obtain a global database of soil saturated hydraulic conductivity (SoilKsatDB). The SoilKsatDB covers most regions across the globe, with the highest number of Ksat measurements from North America, followed by Europe, Asia, South America, Africa, and Australia. In addition to Ksat, other soil variables such as soil texture (11 584 measurements), bulk density (11 262 measurements), soil organic carbon (9787 measurements), moisture content at field capacity (7382), and wilting point (7411) are also included in the dataset. To show an application of SoilKsatDB, we derived Ksat pedotransfer functions (PTFs) for temperate regions and laboratory-based soil properties (sand and clay content, bulk density). Accurate models can be fitted using a random forest machine learning algorithm (best concordance correlation coefficient (CCC) equal to 0.74 and 0.72 for temperate area and laboratory measurements, respectively). However, when these Ksat PTFs are applied to soil samples obtained from tropical climates and field measurements, respectively, the model performance is significantly lower (CCC = 0.49 for tropical and CCC = 0.10 for field measurements). These results indicate that there are significant differences between Ksat data collected in temperate and tropical regions and Ksat measured in the laboratory or field. The SoilKsatDB dataset is available at https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3752721 (Gupta et al., 2020) and the code used to extract the data from the literature and the applied random forest machine learning approach are publicly available under an open data license.

Type: Article
Title: SoilKsatDB: global database of soil saturated hydraulic conductivity measurements for geoscience applications
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.5194/essd-13-1593-2021
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-13-1593-2021
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10127296
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