Soil water redistribution has significant effects on local ecosystem and agriculture in arid and semi-arid farmlands in the Loess Plateau. In a redistribution proess, soil water moves in unsaturated soil under the potential gradient. This article reviews and summarizes theories and models in soil water redistribution achived in China and abroad from point of view of both physics and biology. It is found out that the progress is mainly affected by cultivation measures, rainfall intensity, initial moisture content and irrigation method from point of view of physics. The developed mathematical models based on soil water characteristic curve and its hysteresis, soil water flux method, and soil water motion equations etc are clarified. It is also identified that the soil water redistribution can effectively regulate soil moisture condition in root layer and enrich community structure and improve soil nutrient; but the process can be influenced by soil moisture, species and soil properties.
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