Effects of soil morphology on hydraulic properties: II. Hydraulic pedotransfer functions

H. S. Lin, K. J. McInnes, L. P. Wilding, C. T. Hallmark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Pedotransfer functions (PTFs) have gained recognition in recent years as an approach to translate simple soil characteristics found in soil surveys into more complicated model input parameters. However, existing pedotransfer functions have not yet incorporated critical soil structural information. This study showed that soil hydraulic properties could be estimated from morphological features determined in situ (including texture, initial moisture state, pedality, macroporosity, and root density) through a morphology quantification system. Comparison between the class and continuous PTFs developed in this study indicated that the use of quantified morphological properties yielded predictive power similar to that of physical properties in estimating hydraulic conductivity at zero potential; water flow rates in macro-, meso-, and micropores; and a soil structure and texture parameter αmacro. The results confirmed that soil structure was crucial in characterizing hydraulic behavior in macropore flow region; whereas texture had major impact on those hydraulic properties controlled by micropores. Depending on the flow domain to be included, estimation of hydraulic properties required the use of different combinations of morphometric indices or physical properties. The PTFs established may be used as starting points for estimating model input parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)955-961
Number of pages7
JournalSoil Science Society of America Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Soil Science

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