African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6691

Full Length Research Paper

Application of numerical method in the estimation of soil thermal diffusivity and soil temperature prediction under different textures and moisture contents

Hassan Rahimi1, Younes Khoshkhoo1*, Ali Khalili1 and Parviz Irannejad2
1College of Soil and Water Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran. 2Institutes of Geophysics, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran. 
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 09 August 2010
  •  Published: 30 November 2013


Numerical solution of heat conduction equation was used to estimate the soil thermal diffusivity () under different texture and moisture contents. The estimated value of   was applied to soil temperature prediction at several depths and times. The results showed that the values of α at the beginning increased with increased moisture up to a critical point and then decreased. The maximum values for α occurred at 15 and 10% moisture contents for silty clay and sandy soils, respectively. Results of soil temperature prediction showed both overestimated and underestimated trends. The range of errors in most cases was ±1°C.


Key words: Thermal diffusivity, numerical method, moisture, soil temperature, texture.