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Journal of Arid Land  2017, Vol. 9 Issue (5): 701-711    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-017-0025-3
Orginal Article     
Applicability of five models to simulate water infiltration into soil with added biochar
Tongtong WANG1,2, E STEWART Catherine3, Jiangbo MA1,2, Jiyong ZHENG1,*(), Xingchang ZHANG1
1 State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on the Loess Plateau, Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
2 College of Natural Resources and Environment, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
3 Soil-Plant-Nutrient Research Unit, United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, Fort Collins CO 80526-8119, USA
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As a soil amendment, biochar can reduce soil bulk density, increase soil porosity, and alter soil aggregates and thus affect the infiltration. Researchers have proposed and revised several theoretical models to describe the process of soil infiltration. Although these models have been successfully used to evaluate the soil infiltration in different scenarios in agricultural fields, little effort has been devoted to assess their performances in arid and semi-arid soils after the addition of biochar. A laboratory experiment was performed to study the infiltration characteristics of two typical Loess Plateau soils at three particle sizes (2-1, 1-0.25, and <0.25 mm) and five biochar application amounts (0, 10, 50, 100, and 150 g/kg). The performance of five models (i.e., the Philip model, Kostiakov model, Mezencev model, USDA-NRCS model, and Horton model) in simulating the infiltration process was then evaluated based on the adjusted coefficient of determination and a reduced Chi-Square test. Results indicated that the Horton model best simulated the water-infiltration process in an aeolian sandy soil with added biochar. However, the Mezencev model best simulated the infiltration process in a loamy clay soil (Eum-Orthic Anthrosol). The three-parameter model, i.e., Mezencev and Horton models can better describe the relationship between cumulative infiltration and infiltration time. In conclusion, biochar reduced the soil infiltration capacity of the aeolian sandy soil and increased that of the Eum-Orthic Anthrosol.

Key wordsinfiltration models      biochar      Horton model      Mezencev model      Loess Plateau     
Received: 06 September 2016      Published: 22 August 2017
Corresponding Authors: Jiyong ZHENG     E-mail:
Cite this article:

Tongtong WANG, E STEWART Catherine, Jiangbo MA, Jiyong ZHENG, Xingchang ZHANG. Applicability of five models to simulate water infiltration into soil with added biochar. Journal of Arid Land, 2017, 9(5): 701-711.

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