Surface soil water content regimes: Opportunities in soil science

Donald R. Nielsen, Miroslav Kutílek, Marc B. Parlange

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


With the qualities and properties of soil not being uniformly distributed across continents, soils are classified according to their morphological features, genesis and soil-forming processes. Because properties of soils vary across the landscape, a relationship observed at one location may not be applicable for other locations. Hence, measured data and deduced relationships are location specific and should be interpreted with information regarding the particular soil type according to the discipline of soil science. To better understand the role of water in land atmosphere interactions and the role of land atmosphere interactions in regional and global climate, spatial and temporal observations of water in the soil surface can be more comprehensively analyzed with a knowledge of soil science. On the other hand, an opportunity to strengthen the discipline of soil science (with its various branches of soil physics, soil chemistry, soil microbiology, etc.) exists if spatial and temporal observations of water in the soil surface at different scales are considered. Anticipating that such observations of soil water will eventually become more abundantly available through satellite imagery, we discuss how they can be used to improve our understanding and application of soil science.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-55
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 1996
Externally publishedYes

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