Global Soil Hydraulic Properties dataset based on legacy site observations and robust parameterization

Surya Gupta*, Andreas Papritz, Peter Lehmann, Tomislav Hengl, Sara Bonetti, Dani Or

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The representation of land surface processes in hydrological and climatic models critically depends on the soil water characteristics curve (SWCC) that defines the plant availability and water storage in the vadose zone. Despite the availability of SWCC datasets in the literature, significant efforts are required to harmonize reported data before SWCC parameters can be determined and implemented in modeling applications. In this work, a total of 15,259 SWCCs from 2,702 sites were assembled from published literature, harmonized, and quality-checked. The assembled SWCC data provide a global soil hydraulic properties (GSHP) database. Parameters of the van Genuchten (vG) SWCC model were estimated from the data using the R package ‘soilhypfit’. In many cases, information on the wet- or dry-end of the SWCC measurements were missing, and we used pedotransfer functions (PTFs) to estimate saturated and residual water contents. The new database quantifies the differences of SWCCs across climatic regions and can be used to create global maps of soil hydraulic properties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number444
JournalScientific Data
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


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