Hydraulic and physical properties of managed and intact peatlands: application of the van Genuchten-Mualem models to peat soils

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Menberu, M. W., Marttila, H., Ronkanen, A.-K., Haghighi, A. T., & Kløve, B. (2021). Hydraulic and physical properties of managed and intact peatlands: Application of the van Genuchten-Mualem models to peat soils. Water Resources Research, 57, e2020WR028624. https://doi.org/10.1029/2020WR028624

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Title: Hydraulic and physical properties of managed and intact peatlands: application of the van Genuchten-Mualem models to peat soils
Author: Menberu, Meseret Walle; Marttila, Hannu; Ronkanen, Anna-Kaisa; Haghighi, Ali Torabi; Kløve, Bjørn
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Date: 2021
Language: en
Belongs to series: Water Resources Research 57, e2020WR028624
ISSN: 0043-1397
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2020WR028624
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/334890
Abstract: Undisturbed peatlands are effective carbon sinks and provide a variety of ecosystem services. However, anthropogenic disturbances, especially land drainage, strongly alter peat soil properties and jeopardize the benefits of peatlands. The effects of disturbances should therefore be assessed and predicted. To support accurate modeling, this study determined the physical and hydraulic properties of intact and disturbed peat samples collected from 59 sites (in total 3,073 samples) in Finland and Norway. The bulk density (BD), porosity, and specific yield (Sy) values obtained indicated that the top layer (0–30 cm depth) at agricultural and peat extraction sites was most affected by land use change. The BD in the top layer at agricultural, peat extraction, and forestry sites was 441%, 140%, and 92% higher, respectively, than that of intact peatlands. Porosity decreased with increased BD, but not linearly. Agricultural and peat extraction sites had the lowest saturated hydraulic conductivity, Sy, and porosity, and the highest BD of the land use options studied. The van Genuchten-Mualem (vGM) soil water retention curve (SWRC) and hydraulic conductivity (K) models proved to be applicable for the peat soils tested, providing values of SWRC, K, and vGM-parameters (α and n) for peat layers (top, middle and bottom) under different land uses. A decrease in peat soil water content of ≥10% reduced the unsaturated K values by two orders of magnitude. This unique data set can be used to improve hydrological modeling in peat-dominated catchments and for fuller integration of peat soils into large-scale hydrological models.
Description: Key Points: • Land use such as agriculture and peat extraction alter the physical and hydraulic properties of the peat more strongly than other land uses • The top 30 cm peat depth was most affected by agriculture and peat extraction, as indicated by the bulk density, specific yield, and porosity values • The van Genuchten-Mualem soil water retention model was applied successfully to different layers of peat under different land use
Subject: peatland
peatlands
peat soil
land use
soil water retention curve
van Genuchten
soil properties
Finland
Norway
hydrology
Subject (ysa): suot
turvemaat
maankäyttö
ominaisuudet
hydrologia
Suomi
Norja
Rights: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.


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