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Pedotransfer functions and Land Surface Parameterization

This working group on pedotransfer functions aims to bring together international experts working on pedotransfer functions and land surface parametrization in different disciplines such as soil sciences, climate, and crop modelling



Lutz Weihermüller

Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH

Institute Agrosphere IBG-3



Yonggen Zhang

Tianjin University

School of Earth System Science


Tentative list of Participants

Attila Nemes

Surya Gupta

Budiman Minasny,

Brigitta Szabó

Yijian Zeng

Zhongwang Wei

Harry Vereecken:

Marcel G. Schaap:

Peter Lehmann

Anne Verhoef

John Koestel

Sara Bonetti

Daniel Hirmas

Pamela Sullivan

Tobias KD Weber :

Caldwell, Todd G

Vilim Filipovic

Toby Marthews

Garry Feng

Jonas Allgeier

Todd Skaggs

Wim Cornelis

Efstathios (Statis) Diamantopoulos

Athanasios (Thanos) Paschalis

Mouiz Yessoufou

Rajiv Srivastava

Shawkat B.M. Hassan

Marta Vasconcelos Ottoni

Aim of the working group


The working group ‘Pedotransfer functions and land surface parameterization’ aims to bring together international experts working on pedotransfer functions and land surface parametrization in different disciplines such as soil sciences, climate, and crop modelling. Hereby, the focus will be in a first step on pedotransfer functions (PTF) to estimate soil hydraulic parameters. In addition, also thermal and biogeochemical pedotransfer functions will be tackled. Within the working group urgent needs in pedotransfer and land surface parameterization development and validation will be identified. Full details of the WG aims are shown here.

Working group meetings

The working group will meet twice a year and invite all members. As the working group is open to everyone interested in pedotransfer functions, you can either subscribe as member or visitor by contacting the pedotransfer function working group leads Yonggen Zhang ( or Lutz Weihermüller ( The minutes of the working group meetings can be found here

+++++++++++++++++++++++ New Publications ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Fuentes-Guevara, M.D. Armindo, R.A., Timm, L.C., and Nemes, A.. Data correlation structure controls pedotransfer function performance. Journal of Hydrology 614 (2022) 128540.

Gupta, S., Papritz, A., Lehmann, P., Hengl, T., Bonetti, S., and Or, D.: Global Soil Hydraulic Properties dataset based on legacy site observations and robust parameterization. Scientific Data, 9, 444, 2022,

Gupta, S., Papritz, A., Lehmann, P., Hengl, T., Bonetti, S., and Or, D.: Global Mapping of Soil Water Characteristics Parameters- Fusing Curated Data with Machine Learning and Environmental Covariates. Remote Sensing, 14(8):1947, 2022,

Paschalis, A., Bonetti, S., Guo, Y., Fatichi, S. 2022. On the Uncertainty Induced by Pedotransfer Functions in Terrestrial Biosphere Modeling. Water Resources Research 58(9): e2021WR031871.

Zhang, Y., Weihermüller, L., Szabó, B., Noman, M., and Vereecken, H. 2022. Analyzing dual porosity in soil hydraulic properties using soil databases for pedotransfer function development. Vadose Zone Journal. e20227.

Nasta, P., Szabó, B., Romano, N. 2021. Evaluation of pedotransfer functions for predicting soil hydraulic properties: A voyage from regional to field scales across Europe. Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies 37: 100903.

Weber, T.K.D., Finkel, M., da Conceição Gonçalves, M., Vereecken, H., Diamantopoulos, E., 2020. Pedotransfer Function for the Brunswick Soil Hydraulic Property Model and Comparison to the van Genuchten‐Mualem Model. Water Resources Research, 56, e2019WR026820.

Weihermüller, L., Lehmann, P., Herbst, M., Rahmati, M., Verhoef, A., Or, D., Jacques, D., and Vereecken, H. 2021. Choice of pedotransfer functions matters when simulating soil water balance fluxes. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 13, e2020MS002404.

Zhang, Y., Schaap, M.G., Wei, Z., 2020. Development of Hierarchical Ensemble Model and Estimates of Soil Water Retention With Global Coverage. Geophysical Research Letters 47, e2020GL088819.

+++++++++++++++++++    New Available PTF models +++++++++++++++++++++


The previously published European pedotransfer functions (euptfv1, Tóth et al., 2015 ( were updated to provide better predictions and prediction uncertainties built into the transfer functions (euptfv2, Szabó et al., 2021). The new algorithms lead to significantly better predictions and provide a built-in prediction uncertainty computation. The influence of predictor variables on predicted soil hydraulic properties is explored and practical guidance on how to use the derived pedotransfer function is provided. The estimation algorithms are integrated into a user-friendly web application (, and in an open source R-package ( More information can be found here


Szabó, B., Weynants, M., and Weber, T. K. D. 2021. Updated European hydraulic pedotransfer functions with communicated uncertainties in the predicted variables (euptfv2), Geosci. Model Dev., 14, 151–175.


Rosetta (Schaap et al., 2001) is a popularly used pedotransfer function. The code is based on artificial neural network analysis coupled with bootstrap re-sampling method, which allows the estimation of van Genuchten water retention parameters (van Genuchten, 1980), saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks), and their uncertainties.

Zhang & Schaap (2017) developed a new Rosetta model (Rosetta3 model) that unify the water retention and Ks submodels into one. The models have less bias and better performance in terms of observed quantities. The new model provides covariance matrix of parameters and also a more accurate parameter distribution (α-stable distribution).

web-based interface of the Rosetta model developed by Todd Skaggs (USDA-ARS) and Ehsan Ghane (Michigan State University) can be accessed, respectively, by and  

The python version (compatible with python 2 and python 3) of Rosetta 1 and Rosetta 3 code is available for download at along with a user manual. This code is intended for users/developers familiar with the python programming language, and it works in Linux, Windows 7+, and Mac OSX, independent of the Operating System.

The rosetta-soil python package by Todd Skaggs (USDA-ARS) is now on pypi and can be installed with pip install rosetta-soil.  The project page with instructions is at

The R version of the Rosetta3 code was developed by Dr. Todd Skaggs (USDA-ARS) and you may find the details of how to install, make a prediction, and make graphs of the Rosetta model using R code by accessing


Schaap, M.G., Leij, F.J., van Genuchten, M.T., 2001. ROSETTA: A computer program for estimating soil hydraulic parameters with hierarchical pedotransfer functions. Journal of Hydrology 251, 163–176.

Zhang, Y., Schaap, M.G., 2017. Weighted Recalibration of the Rosetta Pedotransfer Model with Improved Estimates of Hydraulic Parameter Distributions and Summary Statistics (Rosetta3). Journal of Hydrology 547, 39–53.

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