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A procedure is developed to calculate the ratio between electrical conductivity (EC) solution (ECw) and EC of bulk soil (ECa) as a function of soil water content (θ). This ratio, (F), changing nonlinearly with θ, is used to calculate soil solution salinity from measurements of bulk soil electrical conductivity. Obtaining F‐θ relationships for intermediate and low soil moisture levels by an accurate theoretical model is impractical due to the complicated interdependence of several solid‐ and liquid‐phase parameters. Therefore an empirical approach was adopted to obtain the complete F‐θ relationship by superimposing the complete suction‐water retention relationship on two F‐θ measurements at the same θ values. The experimentally determined F‐θ curve overlaps the theoretically calculated F‐θ relationship at high soil water contents and the empirically obtained F‐θ relationship at low soil water content. Examples are given for several soil types.

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Estimating the Soil Water Dependence of the Electrical Conductivity Soil Solution/Electrical Conductivity Bulk Soil Ratio
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Estimating the Soil Water Dependence of the Electrical Conductivity Soil Solution/Electrical Conductivity Bulk Soil Ratio

A procedure is developed to calculate the ratio between electrical conductivity (EC) solution (ECw) and EC of bulk soil (ECa) as a function of soil water content (θ). This ratio, (F), changing nonlinearly with θ, is used to calculate soil solution salinity from measurements of bulk soil electrical conductivity. Obtaining F‐θ relationships for intermediate and low soil moisture levels by an accurate theoretical model is impractical due to the complicated interdependence of several solid‐ and liquid‐phase parameters. Therefore an empirical approach was adopted to obtain the complete F‐θ relationship by superimposing the complete suction‐water retention relationship on two F‐θ measurements at the same θ values. The experimentally determined F‐θ curve overlaps the theoretically calculated F‐θ relationship at high soil water contents and the empirically obtained F‐θ relationship at low soil water content. Examples are given for several soil types.

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