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Vertical profiles of soil water content as influenced by environmental factors in a small catchment on the hilly-gully Loess Plateau.

Wang B, Wen F, Wu J, Wang X, Hu Y - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: Multi-regression analysis showed that average SWC was significantly affected by land-use type in different soil layers (0-20, 20-160, and 160-300 cm), generally in descending order of terrace, abandoned farmland, grassland, and woodland.Altitude only strongly affected SWC after the rainy season.The results indicated that land-use type, gradient, landform, and altitude should be considered in spatial SWC estimation and sustainable water management in these small catchments on the Loess Plateau as well as in other complex terrains with similar settings.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: College of Environmental Science and Resources, Shanxi University, Taiyuan, China.

ABSTRACT
Characterization of soil water content (SWC) profiles at catchment scale has profound implications for understanding hydrological processes of the terrestrial water cycle, thereby contributing to sustainable water management and ecological restoration in arid and semi-arid regions. This study described the vertical profiles of SWC at the small catchment scale on the hilly and gully Loess Plateau in Northeast China, and evaluated the influences of selected environmental factors (land-use type, topography and landform) on average SWC within 300 cm depth. Soils were sampled from 101 points across a small catchment before and after the rainy season. Cluster analysis showed that soil profiles with high-level SWC in a stable trend (from top to bottom) were most commonly present in the catchment, especially in the gully related to terrace. Woodland soil profiles had low-level SWC with vertical variations in a descending or stable trend. Most abandoned farmland and grassland soil profiles had medium-level SWC with vertical variations in varying trends. No soil profiles had low-level SWC with vertical variations in an ascending trend. Multi-regression analysis showed that average SWC was significantly affected by land-use type in different soil layers (0-20, 20-160, and 160-300 cm), generally in descending order of terrace, abandoned farmland, grassland, and woodland. There was a significant negative correlation between average SWC and gradient along the whole profile (P<0.05). Landform significantly affected SWC in the surface soil layer (0-20 cm) before the rainy season but throughout the whole profile after the rainy season, with lower levels on the ridge than in the gully. Altitude only strongly affected SWC after the rainy season. The results indicated that land-use type, gradient, landform, and altitude should be considered in spatial SWC estimation and sustainable water management in these small catchments on the Loess Plateau as well as in other complex terrains with similar settings.

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Vertical profiles of soil water at 101 sampling points in the Sanyanjing catchment.
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pone-0109546-g003: Vertical profiles of soil water at 101 sampling points in the Sanyanjing catchment.

Mentions: The vertical profiles (0–300 cm) of SWC at 101 sampling points before the rainy season were drawn (Figure 3). These SWC profiles showed dynamic variations across the catchment study area, with substantial differences in the soil layers below 100 cm. At a few sampling points, there were obvious soil water depletion (e.g., 67, 75, 85, and 94) and an increasing trend (top to bottom) of SWC (e.g., 12 and 36). High degrees of soil desiccation were rarely detected in the lower soil layers, and low SWC was mainly found in the lower soil layers of woodland.


Vertical profiles of soil water content as influenced by environmental factors in a small catchment on the hilly-gully Loess Plateau.

Wang B, Wen F, Wu J, Wang X, Hu Y - PLoS ONE (2014)

Vertical profiles of soil water at 101 sampling points in the Sanyanjing catchment.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4196915&req=5

pone-0109546-g003: Vertical profiles of soil water at 101 sampling points in the Sanyanjing catchment.
Mentions: The vertical profiles (0–300 cm) of SWC at 101 sampling points before the rainy season were drawn (Figure 3). These SWC profiles showed dynamic variations across the catchment study area, with substantial differences in the soil layers below 100 cm. At a few sampling points, there were obvious soil water depletion (e.g., 67, 75, 85, and 94) and an increasing trend (top to bottom) of SWC (e.g., 12 and 36). High degrees of soil desiccation were rarely detected in the lower soil layers, and low SWC was mainly found in the lower soil layers of woodland.

Bottom Line: Multi-regression analysis showed that average SWC was significantly affected by land-use type in different soil layers (0-20, 20-160, and 160-300 cm), generally in descending order of terrace, abandoned farmland, grassland, and woodland.Altitude only strongly affected SWC after the rainy season.The results indicated that land-use type, gradient, landform, and altitude should be considered in spatial SWC estimation and sustainable water management in these small catchments on the Loess Plateau as well as in other complex terrains with similar settings.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: College of Environmental Science and Resources, Shanxi University, Taiyuan, China.

ABSTRACT
Characterization of soil water content (SWC) profiles at catchment scale has profound implications for understanding hydrological processes of the terrestrial water cycle, thereby contributing to sustainable water management and ecological restoration in arid and semi-arid regions. This study described the vertical profiles of SWC at the small catchment scale on the hilly and gully Loess Plateau in Northeast China, and evaluated the influences of selected environmental factors (land-use type, topography and landform) on average SWC within 300 cm depth. Soils were sampled from 101 points across a small catchment before and after the rainy season. Cluster analysis showed that soil profiles with high-level SWC in a stable trend (from top to bottom) were most commonly present in the catchment, especially in the gully related to terrace. Woodland soil profiles had low-level SWC with vertical variations in a descending or stable trend. Most abandoned farmland and grassland soil profiles had medium-level SWC with vertical variations in varying trends. No soil profiles had low-level SWC with vertical variations in an ascending trend. Multi-regression analysis showed that average SWC was significantly affected by land-use type in different soil layers (0-20, 20-160, and 160-300 cm), generally in descending order of terrace, abandoned farmland, grassland, and woodland. There was a significant negative correlation between average SWC and gradient along the whole profile (P<0.05). Landform significantly affected SWC in the surface soil layer (0-20 cm) before the rainy season but throughout the whole profile after the rainy season, with lower levels on the ridge than in the gully. Altitude only strongly affected SWC after the rainy season. The results indicated that land-use type, gradient, landform, and altitude should be considered in spatial SWC estimation and sustainable water management in these small catchments on the Loess Plateau as well as in other complex terrains with similar settings.

Show MeSH