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69 Solute Transport in Soil at the Core and Field Scale

Part 6. Soils

  1. Marnik Vanclooster1,
  2. Mathieu Javaux1,2,
  3. J Vanderborght2

Published Online: 15 APR 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0470848944.hsa073

Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences

Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences

How to Cite

Vanclooster, M., Javaux, M. and Vanderborght, J. 2006. Solute Transport in Soil at the Core and Field Scale. Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences. 6:69.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Université Catholique de Louvain, Department of Environmental Sciences and Land Use Planning, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

  2. 2

    Agrosphere Institute, (ICG-IV), Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Jülich, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2006


A detailed understanding of the flow and transport processes of chemicals in soils is needed to implement effective and efficient soil and water management strategies and to meet the current challenges of sustainable development. The solute transport process is a key process determining the mass flow of chemical substances once they are released in the soil solution. The transport process is a highly nonlinear and space-time dynamic process for which models are still poorly validated at the larger scale. In this article, we review some recent advances in describing solute transport in soil at the macroscopic core scale, corresponding to the scale of most soil measurement devices, and the pedon scale, corresponding to the scale of a small field. After introducing basic concepts, major problems using the classical Convection Dispersion Equation (CDE) model for describing field-scale solute transport is presented and alternative modeling concepts are introduced.


  • convection-dispersion equation;
  • dispersivity;
  • field scale;
  • heterogeneous soil;
  • solute transport;
  • unsaturated soil;
  • vadose zone