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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Improving spatial resolution in soil and drainage data to combine natural and anthropogenic water functions at catchment scale in agricultural landscapes

Malmquist, Louise; Barron, Jennie


Discrepancies in time-space representation of indata and calibration/validation data obstructs analysis of hydrological processes thatlink natural and anthropogenic water infrastructure in catchments and landscapes. To improve indata for hydrological- and modelling of the soil-plant-atmosphere-continuum, this paper presents a high-resolution dataset of hydrological functions in the agricultural landscape of Tidan, Sw Sweden. We firstly address spatial representation of soil physical parameters, describing soil water flows and storage. Secondly, we derive tile drainage datasets from historical maps. Lastly, we explore delineation and spatial location of streams, ditches and waterbodies to improve description of water connectivity. The new soil datasets with top- and subsoil descriptions varied in depicting the sensitivity of saturated hydraulic conductivity and water holding capacity. The most representative soil map showed moderate (34%) - to very rapid (21%) saturated hydraulic conductivity, water holding capacity below 40 mm 10 cm-1 (94%) and a dry bulk density ranging between 1.2 and 1.8 g cm-3 (71%). The digitalization of drained fields suggests that 69% of the arable fields are under tile drainage, dominated by sandy loam, loam and clay loam. The combined stream network resulted in 5350 km of streams and ditches, + 14% km and + 129%, respectively, compared to available best resolution datasets. Landscape surface water storage increased with a small addition (+ 6439 m3 storage potential) compared to previously available datasets. The improved descriptors of natural and anthropogenic flow and storage can potentially serve to improve water quantity and quality modelling under current and future climate- and hydrological changes.


Catchment hydrology; Agricultural water management; Green -blue -grey water infrastructure; Tile drainage; Soil physical properties

Published in

Agricultural Water Management
2023, Volume: 283, article number: 108304

      SLU Authors

    • Sustainable Development Goals

      SDG6 Clean water and sanitation

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Soil Science
      Agricultural Science
      Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources

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