About this Research Topic
Much progress is being made towards widespread adoption of machine learning and artificial intelligence methods for modeling of water and nutrient dynamics in the unsaturated zone. Advancing our knowledge and understanding of multi-scale process drivers in the vadose zone is a key requirement for ensuring the health and sustainability of our soil (and soil-dependent) systems. Such knowledge is also necessary to address issues related to improving efficiencies in agricultural production and water management. With agriculture being the major consumer of freshwater, as well as a significant source of contamination to water systems, such efforts will have both local and global impact. The deluge of data from remote sensing platforms, as well as an increasing capacity to exploit in-situ observation networks, provides an opportunity to better understand vadose zone processes and their linkages across a range of spatial and temporal scales, and to explore their impact on modern agriculture.
This Research Topic invites contributions exploring the application of artificial intelligence, machine learning and/or other data science-based techniques towards understanding and predicting the dynamics of water, nutrients and energy fluxes in the vadose zone, as well as those examining impacts and management towards improving agriculture. We welcome contributions that explore applications of machine learning and other artificial intelligence approaches in the broad areas of:
• soil moisture status and dynamics;
• land surface evaporation;
• transport of nutrients in the root zone;
• contaminant transport through the vadose zone to the groundwater;
• bio-geo-chemical interactions in the vadose zone;
• soil heterogeneity;
• impact of soil and hydrological variations on agricultural yield and management practices;
• uncertainty in data and model outputs.
Research investigating topics associated with, but not specifically mentioned above are also welcome, as are comprehensive reviews of existing state of the science in these areas.
Keywords: vadose zone, freshwater, hydrology, soil heterogeneity, soil moisture
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.