Soil water management and irrigation practices largely depend on a timely and accurate characterization of temporal and spatial soil moisture dynamics in the root zone. Consequently, measurements and detailed information about soil water sorption, water content, behavior, and potential are required. In that concern, water vapor adsorption is an important phenomenon in arid and semi-arid regions, as well as in dry periods of tropical soils. Therefore, quantifying adsorption is important for agricultural water management, surface energy balance studies, ecological studies, and remote sensing investigations (changes in surface soil moisture content will affect land surface properties such as albedo, emissivity, and thermal inertia). The vapor pressure and isothermal adsorption of water vapor can be used to predict soil moisture adsorption capacity (Wa), specific surface area, and hydro-physical properties of arid soils such as in Egypt and in the tropical soils in Ecuador. Theory of adsorption of water vapor on soil particles is developed among the mono-molecular and poly-molecular adsorption with respect to Brunauer, Emmett, and Teller (BET) theory. Data of soil-water adsorption (W%) at different relative vapor pressures (P/Po) can be obtained for the soils, where the W% values are increased with increasing P/Po in general. The highest values of water adsorption capacity (Wa), specific surface area (S), and other hygro-physical properties such as adsorbed layers and maximum hygroscopic water are observed in the clay depths of soil profiles, while the lowest values can be found in coarse textured soils (sandy and sandy loam soils profiles). Two equations were assumed: (1) to predict P/Po at water adsorption capacity (Wa) and (2) to apply Wa in prediction of soil moisture retention, i.e., ψ (W) function at pF < 4.5.
Part of the book: Wetting and Wettability