versión impresa ISSN 0103-9016
MELLO, Carlos Rogério de et al. Spatial distribution of top soil water content in an experimental catchment of Southeast Brazil. Sci. agric. (Piracicaba, Braz.) [online]. 2011, vol.68, n.3, pp. 285-294. ISSN 0103-9016. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-90162011000300003.
Soil water content is essential to understand the hydrological cycle. It controls the surface runoff generation, water infiltration, soil evaporation and plant transpiration. This work aims to analyze the spatial distribution of top soil water content and to characterize the spatial mean and standard deviation of top soil water content over time in an experimental catchment located in the Mantiqueira Range region, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Measurements of top soil water content were carried out every 15 days, between May/2007 and May/2008. Using time-domain reflectometry (TDR) equipment, 69 points were sampled in the top 0.2 m of the soil profile. Geostatistical procedures were applied in all steps of the study. First, the spatial continuity was evaluated, and the experimental semi-variogram was modeled. For the development of top soil water content maps over time a co-kriging procedure was used having the slope as a secondary variable. Rainfall regime controlled the top soil water content during the wet season. Land use was also another fundamental local factor. The spatial standard deviation had low values under dry conditions, and high values under wet conditions. Thus, more variability occurs under wet conditions.
Palabras llave : Mantiqueira Range; soil water content mapping; soil hydrology; geostatistical techniques.