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Water 2015, 7(10), 5487-5502; doi:10.3390/w7105487

A Modified van Genuchten-Mualem Model of Hydraulic Conductivity in Korean Residual Soils

1,* , 2,†
and
3,†
1
Department of Civil Engineering, Yeungnam University, Gyeongsan, 42415, Korea
2
Samsung C&T, Seoul, 06620, Korea
3
Dasan Engineering, Seoul, 08726, Korea
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Timothy R. Green
Received: 20 July 2015 / Revised: 5 October 2015 / Accepted: 9 October 2015 / Published: 15 October 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [890 KB, uploaded 15 October 2015]   |  

Abstract

According to the Mualem capillary model, hydraulic conductivity (HC) is integrated theoretically from the function related to soil water retention curves (SWRC). On the other hand, based on the smooth type of SWRC, the predicted HC function decreases abruptly near saturation, which often challenges the stability of numerical solutions. To improve the Mualem HC, van Genuchten’s function for SWRC was modified within the range of low matric suction. The van Genuchten-Mualem HC was then modified to integrate the proposed SWRC for each interval decomposed by a tangential curve. The analytical solutions of the modified HC were derived to prevent an abrupt decrease near saturation. The SWRC and HC data were acquired from laboratory tests for unsaturated soils sampled from five areas in Korea. The results of the HC tests were compared with the theoretical HC models using both the van Genuchten SWRCs and the modified curves. For fine grained soils, the modified model predicts a saturated HC at very small suctions. Furthermore, the modified model was shown to accurately predict the unsaturated behavior of the HC functions for Korean weathered soils. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydraulic conductivity; soil water retention curve; infiltration; capillary model; unsaturated soils hydraulic conductivity; soil water retention curve; infiltration; capillary model; unsaturated soils
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Oh, S.; Kim, Y.K.; Kim, J.-W. A Modified van Genuchten-Mualem Model of Hydraulic Conductivity in Korean Residual Soils. Water 2015, 7, 5487-5502.

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