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Fuzzy logic applied to the modeling of water dynamics in an Oxisol in northeastern Brazil

  • Afonso, Antônio Cláudio Marques
  • Maciel Netto, André
  • Vasconcelos, Wagner Estáquio de
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2014
Scientific Electronic Library Online - Brazil
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Modeling of water movement in non-saturated soil usually requires a large number of parameters and variables, such as initial soil water content, saturated water content and saturated hydraulic conductivity, which can be assessed relatively easily. Dimensional flow of water in the soil is usually modeled by a nonlinear partial differential equation, known as the Richards equation. Since this equation cannot be solved analytically in certain cases, one way to approach its solution is by numerical algorithms. The success of numerical models in describing the dynamics of water in the soil is closely related to the accuracy with which the water-physical parameters are determined. That has been a big challenge in the use of numerical models because these parameters are generally difficult to determine since they present great spatial variability in the soil. Therefore, it is necessary to develop and use methods that properly incorporate the uncertainties inherent to water displacement in soils. In this paper, a model based on fuzzy logic is used as an alternative to describe water flow in the vadose zone. This fuzzy model was developed to simulate the displacement of water in a non-vegetated crop soil during the period called the emergency phase. The principle of this model consists of a Mamdani fuzzy rule-based system in which the rules are based on the moisture content of adjacent soil layers. The performances of the results modeled by the fuzzy system were evaluated by the evolution of moisture profiles over time as compared to those obtained in the field. The results obtained through use of the fuzzy model provided satisfactory reproduction of soil moisture profiles.

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