American University of Beirut

Dean Mohtar receives Superior Paper award from ASABE

Dean Rabi Mohtar's paper on Quantification of Available Water Capacity Comparing Standard Methods and a Pedostructure Method on a Weakly Structured soil has been selected to receive a 2020 Superior Paper award. The paper is authored by J. Blake, A. T. Assi, R. H. Mohtar, E. F. Braudeau, C. L. S. Morgan.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of the pedostructure concept to determine the soil available water capacity, specifically the field capacity (FC). Pedostructure describes the soil aggregate structure and its thermodynamic interaction with water. Specifically, this work compared the calculation of soil water-holding properties based on the pedostructure concept with other standard methods for determining FC and permanent wilting point (PWP).

Results showed that the thermodynamic pedostructure (TPC method) has advantages over the other methods in considering the soil aggregate structure and modeling the soil water content within the aggregate structure. The thermodynamic nature of the TPC method enabled the use of both the soil shrinkage curve and the water retention curve in a weakly structured soil. It is expected that the TPC method would provide more comprehensive advances in understanding the soil water-holding properties of structured soils with higher clay contents.

The Superior Paper Award is an award organized by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, and is awarded to articles that cover timeliness, fundamental value, originality, and benefits to society.

Check full paper here ​

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