Hydropedology in South Africa: Advances, applications and research opportunities.
Johan van Tol
Department of Soil, Crop and Climate Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa Email: vanTolJJ@ufs.ac.za
To cite this article: Johan van Tol (2020): Hydropedology in South Africa: Advances, applications and research opportunities, South African Journal of Plant and Soil To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/02571862.2019.1640300
The need to characterise and quantify hydrological processes in order to manage scarce water resources led to significant progress in the field of hydropedology in South Africa during the past decade. The adoption of hydropedological research by industry and government as part of water resource management strategies further facilitated the progress in the field. It is therefore timely to provide a comprehensive review of the developments in terms of the science and applications in the recent past. This paper start with an overview of the intimate link between soil classification and hydropedology, then focus on recent advances in hydrological interpretation of soil morphology and chemistry. The status of hydropedological classification of soils and hillslopes are then presented. This is followed by a discussion on how hydropedological assessments could be applied in groundwater/surface water interaction studies, pollution control and management, wetland protection and rehabilitation and hydrological modelling. The paper concludes by identifying three areas where hydropedology could be advanced in the future: 1) quantification of hydropedological interpretations 2) characterisation of the intermediate vadose zone and 3) hydropedological mapping of South Africa.
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