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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 10, issue 6 | Copyright

Special issue: Uncertainties in hydrological observations

Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 10, 889-902, 2006
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-10-889-2006
© Author(s) 2006. This work is licensed under
the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

  22 Nov 2006

22 Nov 2006

Uncertainty in soil physical data at river basin scale – a review

P. van der Keur1 and B. V. Iversen2 P. van der Keur and B. V. Iversen
  • 1Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Østervoldgade 10, 1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark
  • 2Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, P.O.~Box 50, 8830 Tjele, Denmark

Abstract. For hydrological modelling studies at the river basin scale, decision makers need guidance in assessing the implications of uncertain data used by modellers as an input to modelling tools. Simulated solute transport through the unsaturated zone is associated with uncertainty due to spatial variability of soil hydraulic properties and derived hydraulic model parameters. In general for modelling studies at the river basin scale spatially available data at various scales must be aggregated to an appropriate scale. Estimating soil properties at unsampled points by means of geostatistical techniques require reliable information on the spatial structure of soil data. In this paper this information is assessed by reviewing current developments in the field of soil physical data uncertainty and adopting a classification system. Then spatial variability and structure is inspected by reviewing experimental work on determining spatial length scales for soil physical (and soil chemical) data. Available literature on spatial length scales for soil physical- and chemical properties is reviewed and their use in facilitating change of spatial support discussed. Uncertainty associated to the derivation of hydraulic properties from soil physical properties in this context is also discussed.

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