EGU General Assembly 2007
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  Information - SSS11 Hydropedology: A synergistic tool to shape EU guidelines for water and soil (co-listed in HS)

Event Information
Hydropedology is viewed as intertwined branch of pedology and hydrology that studies relationships in space and time between soil, landscape and hydrology ( Lin et al, 2005; 2006a, 2006b). Landscape water flux is seen as a unifying precept for hydropedology. Our premise in this symposium is twofold: (i) Flow patterns of water in landscapes can be better characterized by hydrological modelling when incorporating pedological expertise, considering properties of undisturbed soils in the field in a landscape context. This includes distinction of different soil types with different horizons and effects of management that differ significantly among different soil types; (ii) Dynamic soil properties that are currently estimated in soil survey by qualitative, descriptive techniques, can be much better expressed by using quantitative hydrological modelling techniques for both saturated and unsaturated soil conditions.

Hydropedology is particularly relevant at this point in time as new EU-wide environmental guidelines have been introduced for water in 2002 and are to be introduced for soil in 2007. Defining quality criteria for ground- and surface water in the EU water guideline is clearly a function of processes in soils in any given area being considered. For example, soil- specific downward fluxes, soil composition and natural and management-induced processes of adsorption, nitrification and denitrification largely govern groundwater quality. Surface runoff, subsurface lateral water movement and composition of subsoils strongly affect surface water quality.

Rather than only use hydrological techniques for the water guideline and soil techniques for the soil guideline ( which now appears to be a tendency) , our third premise is: (iii) Hydropedology can be an important tool to shape EU guidelines for water and soil, that are to be developed in the years to come, acknowledging landscape water flux as a major mechanism governing the quality of water and soil. Such fluxes also strongly guide development of options to improve the quality of either one by management.

Papers are invited that critically analyse our three premises and provide either supporting data or alternative approaches. Case studies of hydropedology and innovative approaches towards synergistic integration of hydrology and pedology are invited. Useful first steps in hydropedology include: (i) linking existing soil and hydrologic data, such as grouping hydrologically similar soil units and enhancing pedotransferfunctions; (ii) use of pedologic data for improved hydrologic applications, such as establishing flow pathways at the pedon and field scales and hydrologic responses at the watershed scale, and (iii) new methodologies and tools to address knowledge gaps thus identified.

Preliminary List of Solicited Speakers
Prof.Mike Vepraskas, professor of soil science at North Carolina State University, USA, has agreed to give the keynote address for this session. Details will follow later.


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