State-space approach to analyze field-scale bromide leaching

Yang Yang, Ole Wendroth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Spatial variability of soil properties complicates the analysis of water and solute transport under field conditions. To meet this challenge, a novel experimental design with a scale-dependent treatment distribution was adopted earlier in a field study to assess the impact of land use and rainfall characteristics on Br- leaching with the aid of spectral analysis. The objective of the current study was to identify the major underlying processes that controlled Br- leaching in the previous experiment and to describe the spatial distribution of soil Br- site-specifically and in different soil layers, using an autoregressive state-space approach. Based on the boundary conditions investigated in this study, the state-space models for Br- concentration at 40-50 and 60-70cm exhibited the best prediction quality compared to those at other depths. As indicated by the weight of each variable, land use dominated the spatial pattern of Br- at shallow depths; whereas, the spatial behavior of Br- below 40cm was mainly affected by soil texture and to a smaller extent by rainfall intensity. In addition, the involvement of Br- concentration and soil texture of the adjacent layer above in the state-space analysis helped to describe the spatial distribution of Br- typically in the soil layer below 60cm. These results not only demonstrated the applicability of state-space technique in diagnosing spatial solute transport relationships; but also held important implications for the surface application of chemicals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-172
Number of pages12
StatePublished - Apr 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Riley J. Walton and Martin Vandiviere for their technical assistance in the field and in the lab, and appreciate Dr. Christopher J. Matocha's advice regarding bromide analysis. The help of James D. Dollarhide, Marcela Muller, Michael Sama, Sleem Kreba and Jim A. Nelson in the field is gratefully acknowledged. Special thanks are due to the China Scholarship Council (CSC) for providing a PhD scholarship to Y. Yang. This study was funded by United States Department of Agriculture NRI #2008-35107-04649 , and Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute (KWRRI) 104b Student Research Enhancement Project .


  • Bromide leaching
  • Land use
  • Soil texture
  • Spatial variability
  • State-space model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science


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