Evaluation and Validation of Models for Estimating Oxygen Diffusion Coefficient in Different Soil Texture Classes

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Soil Science, faculty of agriculture, University of Tabriz, Tabriz. Iran

2 National Salinity Research Center, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Yazd, Iran


The diffusion of gas in the soil, which is usually expressed in terms of its diffusion in the atmosphere (D_p⁄D_0 ), varies based on the characteristics of shape, size, pores distortion, ventilation porosity and soil moisture content (Ɵ), and its direct measurement is generally difficult and time consuming. In this study, while preparing soil samples from different texture classes, oxygen gas diffusion (D_p) was measured in various ventilation porosity (ɛ) and moisture (Ɵ) by non-sustainable methods. Then its changes with ɛ and Ɵ were investigated as a regression equation. The results showed that with increasing ɛ and decreasing the amount of soils Ɵ, D_p⁄D_0 increased and its maximum and minimum values were obtained in low and high humidity (Equal to saturation), respectively. The results of estimating models that presented in resource and obtained regression model in this study (Equation 11) were evaluated and compared using RMSE, GMER and GSDER criteria. The results showed that the estimated D_p⁄D_0 with equation 11 had maximum agreement with the measured data (RMSE = 0.022) and had a minimum overestimation or underestimation (GMER = 1.019), compared with other models that used in this research. Due to the high correlation of the obtained data from this regression equation with the measured data (GSDER = 1.251), the degree of accuracy of this equation is higher than the previous five models and it can be a suitable alternative for them, if it is validated with a wider range of soils.


Call, F. (1957). Soil fumigation: Vertical  diffusion of ethylene di-bromide through soils. J. Sci. Food Agric. 8:143–150.
Corey, A.T. (1957). Measurement of water and air permeability in unsaturated soils. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 21:7-10.
Currie, J.A. (1984). Gas diffusion through soil crumbs: the effect of compaction and wetting. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 35: 1–10.
Gee, G.W. and Or. D. (2002). Particle size analysis. In: H.D. Jacob and G. Clarke Topp, Co-editor (eds). Methods of Soil Analysis. Part 4. Physical Methods. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 4:201-414.
Grable, A. R. and Siemer. E. G. (1968). Effect of bulk density, aggregate size, and soil water suction on oxygen diffusion, redox potentials, and elongation of corn roots. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 32: 180–186.
Grossman, R.B., and Reinesch. T. G. (2002). The solid phase. In: H.D. Jacob and G.Clarke Topp, Co-editor (ed). Methods of Soil Analysis. Part 4.Physical Methods. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. PP. 201-414.
Horn, R. and Smucker, A. (2005). Structure formation and its consequences for gas and water transport in unsaturated arable and forest soils. Soil and Tillage Research 82:5-14.
Jin, Y. and Jury, W.A. (1996). Characterizing the dependence of gas diffusion coefficient on soil properties. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 60: 66–71.
Jose, N., Mauricio, O., Luis, M. and Edmundo, A. (2015). Oxygen  diffusion  in  soils: Understanding  the  factors  and  processes  needed  for  modeling. Chilean J. Agric. Res. vol.75: 35-44.
Marshall, T.J. (1959). A relation between permability and size distribution of pores. J. Soil Sci. 9:1-8.
Millington, R.J. and Quirk, J.P. (1960).Transport in porous media.p. 97-106. In F.A. Van Beren et al. (sd.) Trans. 7th Int. Congr. Soil Sci., Vol. 1, Madison, W1. 14-24 Aug. 1960. Elsevier, Amsterdam.
Millington, R.J. and Quirk, J.P. (1961). Permeability of porous solids. Trans. Faraday Soc. 57: 1200-1207.
Mohamadi, P., Neyshaboori, M.R. and Ahmadi, A. (2013). Comparison of Methods to Estimate the Oxygen Diffusion Ratio and Air Permeability by Using the Effective Saturated and Soil Moisture, Journal of Water and Soil. 27:1023-1033.
Moldrup, P., Olesen, T.,  Komatsum, T., Schjønning, P. and Rolston, D.E. (2001). Tortuosity, diffusivity, and permeability in the soil liquid and gaseous phases. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 65: 613–623.
Moldrup, P.,  Olesen, T., Yamaguchi, T.,  Schjonning, P. and Rolston, D.E. (2000). Predicting the gas diffusion coefficient in undisturbed soil from soil water characteristics. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 64: 94–100
Nelson, D.W. and Sommers, L.E. (1996). Total carbon, organic carbon and organic matter. In: D.L. Sparks (Ed) .Methods of Soil Analyses. Part 3.Chemical Methods. SSSA. Madison, WI. , USA. PP. 961-1010
Papendick, R. I. and Runkles, J. R. (1965). Transient-state oxygen diffusion in soil: I. The case when rate of oxygen consumption is constant. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 100:251–261.
Penman, H. L. (1940). Gas and vapor movements in soil: The diffusion of vapors through porous solids. J. Agric. Sci. 30: 437–462.
Topp, G.C. and Ferre, P.A. (2002). Water content. In: J.H. Dane and G.C. Topp (eds). Methods of Soil Analysis: Physical Methods, Part 4. Soil Science Society of America, Inc. Madison, WI, USA, pp. 417-547.
Taylor, S. A. (1949). Oxygen diffusion in porous media as a measure of soil aeration. Soil Sci. Soc. Proc. J, 14:55-61.
Thorbjorn, A., Moldrup, P., Blendstrup, H., Komatsu, T. and Rolston, D. (2008). A gas diffusivity model based on air-, solid-, and water-phase resistance in variably saturated soil. Vadose Zone Journal 7:1276.
Tomonori, F. and Miyazaki, T. (2005). Effects of bulk density and soil type on the gas diffusion coefficient in repacked and undisturbed soils. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 170:892-901.
Van Bavel, C. H. M. (1952). Gaseous diffusion and porosity in porous media. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 73:91–104.
Werner, D., Grathwohl, P. and Hohener, P. (2004). Review of field methods for the determination of the tortuosity and effective gas-phase diffusivity in the vadosezone. Vadose Zone J. 3:1240–1248.