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Mankind has manipulated the quantity and quality of soil water for millennia. Food production was massively increased through fertilization, irrigation and drainage. But malpractice also caused degradation of immense areas of once fertile land, rendering it totally unproductive for many generations. In populated areas, the pollutant load ever more often exceeds the soil's capacity for buffering and retention, and large volumes of potable groundwater have been polluted or are threatened to be polluted in the foreseeable future. In the past decades, the role of soil water in climate patterns has been recognized but not yet fully understood.
The soil-science community responded to this diversity of issues by developing numerical models to simulate the behavior of water and solutes in soils. These models helped improve our understanding of unsaturated-zone processes and develop sustainable land-management practices.
Aimed at professional soil scientists, soil-water modelers, irrigation engineers etc., this book discusses our progress in soil-water modeling. Top scientists present case studies, overviews and analyses of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats related to soil-water modeling. The contributions cover a wide range of spatial scales, and discuss fundamental aspects of unsaturated-zone modeling as well as issues related to the application of models to real-world problems.
Preface.- Colour Plates.- Concepts and dimensionality in unsaturated modeling of water flow and solute transport: 1. Concepts and dimensionality in modeling unsaturated water flow and solute transport.- 2. Integrated modeling of vadose-zone flow and transport processes.- Parameterizing the soil-water-atmosphere transfer through vegetations: 3. Understanding and parameterizing the soil-water-atmosphere transfer through vegetation.- 4. Parameterizing the soil-water-plant root system.- Unsaturated-saturated water flow and solute transport and relation to surface water: regional scale: 5. Drainage-water travel times as a key factor for surface water contamination.- 6. Role of vadose-zone flow processes in regional-scale hydrology: review, opportunities and challenges.- Observing soil-vegetation system: measurements and models: 7. Energy and water flow through the soil-vegetation-atmosphere system: the fiction of measurements and the reality of models.- 8. Reality and fiction of models and data in soil hydrology.- Applications: 9. Inserting man's irrigation and drainage wisdom into soil water flow models and bringing it back out: how far have we progressed?- 10. Eco-hydrology and biodiversity.- 11. On the use of unsaturated flow and transport models in nutrient and pesticide management.- List of authors.