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Particle size distribution models for soils of the humid tropics

Yves-Dady Botula Manyala (UGent) , Wim Cornelis (UGent) , Geert Baert (UGent) , Paul Mafuka and Eric Van Ranst (UGent)
(2013) JOURNAL OF SOILS AND SEDIMENTS. 13(4). p.686-698
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Abstract
Purpose: Standardisation of particle size distribution (PSD) is a prerequisite to achieve compatibility of soil data among various countries with different texture classification systems. Therefore, several mathematical models have been proposed to accurately represent PSD. Previous studies evaluated the performance of such models to describe PSD of soils from temperate regions. This study aims at evaluating the performance of models for describing PSD of soils from the humid tropics based on a large dataset. Materials and methods: A dataset of 1412 soils from Central Africa representing 11 different FAO Soil Groups located was used. Ten PSD models with two to four fitting parameters were selected: simple log-normal (LN_2p), van Genuchten-type1 (VG_2p), van Genuchten-type2 (vG_3p), Fredlund-type1 (F_3p), Fredlund-type2 (F_4p), Weibull (W_3p), Skaggs (Sk_3p), Gompertz-type1 (G_2p), Gompertz-type2 (G_4p) and Andersson (A_4p). The fitting performance of the PSD models was evaluated by three statistical indices: the adjusted coefficient of determination, the Akaike information criterion and the relative error. Clustered columns and box-plots were also used to get more insights. The predictive ability of the best PSD models was tested using a leave-one-out method and 1:1 plots. Results and discussion: A table of initial values for the fitting parameters of each PSD model was provided for future applications. Some models like VG_2p, VG_3p, Sk_3p and G_4p were not suitable to describe PSD of soils in the humid tropics. On the other hand, F_3p, F_4p, W_3p and A_4p models showed outstanding fitting performance. The fitting performance of PSD models was also dependent of the textural class, the broad-textural group and the bimodal character of the soil. For the most frequent textural classes in the dataset, the F_3p and A_4p models were the best closely followed by the W_3p model. While the F_3p model performed better than the A_4p model for coarse-textured soils, the opposite was observed for fine-textured soils. The W_3p model showed acceptable fitting performance for fine, medium and coarse-textured soils. The performance of the PSD models was found to be better for bimodal soils, which are common in the humid tropics, than for unimodal soils. Conclusions: Great differences in fitting and prediction performance were found between the PSD models. Soil texture as well as the bimodal character of the soil significantly affect their respective performance. Some models like VG_2p, VG_3p, Sk_3p and G_4p are not suitable to describe PSD of soils of the humid tropics. On the other hand, F_3p, F_4p, W_3p and A_4p models showed outstanding fitting performance. Therefore, they are highly recommended in order to get a better description of the PSD of soils of the humid tropics.
Keywords
WATER-RETENTION FUNCTION, Particle size distribution, Bimodal soils, Soils of the humid tropics, Central Africa, HYDRAULIC-PROPERTIES, ORGANIC-MATTER, SANDY SOILS, TEXTURE, PORE, PARAMETERS, PERFORMANCE, CURVE, EQUATION

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Botula Manyala, Yves-Dady, Wim Cornelis, Geert Baert, Paul Mafuka, and Eric Van Ranst. 2013. “Particle Size Distribution Models for Soils of the Humid Tropics.” Journal of Soils and Sediments 13 (4): 686–698.
APA
Botula Manyala, Yves-Dady, Cornelis, W., Baert, G., Mafuka, P., & Van Ranst, E. (2013). Particle size distribution models for soils of the humid tropics. JOURNAL OF SOILS AND SEDIMENTS, 13(4), 686–698.
Vancouver
1.
Botula Manyala Y-D, Cornelis W, Baert G, Mafuka P, Van Ranst E. Particle size distribution models for soils of the humid tropics. JOURNAL OF SOILS AND SEDIMENTS. 2013;13(4):686–98.
MLA
Botula Manyala, Yves-Dady, Wim Cornelis, Geert Baert, et al. “Particle Size Distribution Models for Soils of the Humid Tropics.” JOURNAL OF SOILS AND SEDIMENTS 13.4 (2013): 686–698. Print.
@article{3083194,
  abstract     = {Purpose: Standardisation of particle size distribution (PSD) is a prerequisite to achieve compatibility of soil data among various countries with different texture classification systems. Therefore, several mathematical models have been proposed to accurately represent PSD. Previous studies evaluated the performance of such models to describe PSD of soils from temperate regions. This study aims at evaluating the performance of models for describing PSD of soils from the humid tropics based on a large dataset.
Materials and methods: A dataset of 1412 soils from Central Africa representing 11 different FAO Soil Groups located was used. Ten PSD models with two to four fitting parameters were selected: simple log-normal (LN\_2p), van Genuchten-type1 (VG\_2p), van Genuchten-type2 (vG\_3p), Fredlund-type1 (F\_3p), Fredlund-type2 (F\_4p), Weibull (W\_3p), Skaggs (Sk\_3p), Gompertz-type1 (G\_2p), Gompertz-type2 (G\_4p) and Andersson (A\_4p). The fitting performance of the PSD models was evaluated by three statistical indices: the adjusted coefficient of determination, the Akaike information criterion and the relative error. Clustered columns and box-plots were also used to get more insights. The predictive ability of the best PSD models was tested using a leave-one-out method and 1:1 plots.
Results and discussion: A table of initial values for the fitting parameters of each PSD model was provided for future applications. Some models like VG\_2p, VG\_3p, Sk\_3p and G\_4p were not suitable to describe PSD of soils in the humid tropics. On the other hand, F\_3p, F\_4p, W\_3p and A\_4p models showed outstanding fitting performance. The fitting performance of PSD models was also dependent of the textural class, the broad-textural group and the bimodal character of the soil. For the most frequent textural classes in the dataset, the F\_3p and A\_4p models were the best closely followed by the W\_3p model. While the F\_3p model performed better than the A\_4p model for coarse-textured soils, the opposite was observed for fine-textured soils. The W\_3p model showed acceptable fitting performance for fine, medium and coarse-textured soils. The performance of the PSD models was found to be better for bimodal soils, which are common in the humid tropics, than for unimodal soils.
Conclusions: Great differences in fitting and prediction performance were found between the PSD models. Soil texture as well as the bimodal character of the soil significantly affect their respective performance. Some models like VG\_2p, VG\_3p, Sk\_3p and G\_4p are not suitable to describe PSD of soils of the humid tropics. On the other hand, F\_3p, F\_4p, W\_3p and A\_4p models showed outstanding fitting performance. Therefore, they are highly recommended in order to get a better description of the PSD of soils of the humid tropics.},
  author       = {Botula Manyala, Yves-Dady and Cornelis, Wim and Baert, Geert and Mafuka, Paul and Van Ranst, Eric},
  issn         = {1439-0108},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF SOILS AND SEDIMENTS},
  keyword      = {WATER-RETENTION FUNCTION,Particle size distribution,Bimodal soils,Soils of the humid tropics,Central Africa,HYDRAULIC-PROPERTIES,ORGANIC-MATTER,SANDY SOILS,TEXTURE,PORE,PARAMETERS,PERFORMANCE,CURVE,EQUATION},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {686--698},
  title        = {Particle size distribution models for soils of the humid tropics},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11368-012-0635-5},
  volume       = {13},
  year         = {2013},
}

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