WG 3 4D Soil models

WG 3-4D Soil models

This working group considers the soil as temporary variable three-dimensional (3D) natural body. The 3-4D soil model quantifies the spatial structure of mineral particles and organic substances including dead and living organisms at several scales. Based on such a dynamic soil model, the soil functions and the parameters of such models will be described; these include until now primarily models to simulate smaller-scale soil mechanic and soil hydrological processes, as well as larger scale erosion and soil-landscape evolution.

The working group focuses on 3-4D soil models that quantify the pore space and the soil and landscape structure to simulate the water movement and storage, the transport of solutes and particles including plant development. The challenge is to develop models that consider soils as non-rigid but dynamic bodies that show temporal changes in structure and across several spatial scales – from individual soil profiles to catchment areas up to entire soil landscapes.

The working group brings together expertise from soil physics, hydropedology, soil erosion, soil-landscape evolution and digital soil mapping. In 2022, they published a white paper about their vision on 3-4D soil models, which can be accessed here for free.

The working group is part of the commission I: soil physics and soil hydrology.

The working group meets during the annual meetings of the DBG and organizes occasional meetings for the working group members.

For 2024, a special issue on advances in soil modelling is planned.


Dr. Marijn van der Meij

Institute of Geography, University of Cologne


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