Addressing soil data needs and data-gaps in catchment scale environmental modelling: the European perspective
Abstract. To effectively guide agricultural management planning strategies and policy, it is important to simulate water quantity and quality patterns and quantify the impact of land use and climate change on underlying processes. Environmental models that depict alterations in surface and groundwater quality and quantity at a catchment scale require substantial input, particularly concerning movement and retention in the unsaturated zone. Over the past few decades, numerous soil information sources, containing structured data on diverse basic and advanced soil parameters, alongside innovative solutions to estimate missing soil data, have become increasingly available. This study aims to: i) catalogue open-source soil datasets and pedotransfer functions (PTFs) applicable in simulation studies across European catchments, ii) evaluate the performance of selected PTFs and iii) present compiled R scripts proposing estimation solutions to address soil physical, hydraulic, and chemical soil data needs and gaps in catchment-scale environmental modelling in Europe. Our focus encompassed basic soil properties, bulk density, porosity, albedo, soil erodibility factor, field capacity, wilting point, available water capacity, saturated hydraulic conductivity, and phosphorus content. We aim to recommend widely supported data sources and pioneering prediction methods that maintain physical consistency, and present them through streamlined workflows.
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