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Water 2017, 9(2), 134; doi:10.3390/w9020134

Effective Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity for Representing Field-Scale Infiltration and Surface Soil Moisture in Heterogeneous Unsaturated Soils Subjected to Rainfall Events

1
Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur 208016, India
2
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Perugia, via G. Duranti 93, 06125 Perugia, Italy
3
Lyles School of Civil Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: M. Levent Kavvas
Received: 16 December 2016 / Revised: 9 February 2017 / Accepted: 13 February 2017 / Published: 20 February 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1994 KB, uploaded 20 February 2017]   |  

Abstract

Spatial heterogeneity in soil properties has been a challenge for providing field-scale estimates of infiltration rates and surface soil moisture content over natural fields. In this study, we develop analytical expressions for effective saturated hydraulic conductivity for use with the Green-Ampt model to describe field-scale infiltration rates and evolution of surface soil moisture over unsaturated fields subjected to a rainfall event. The heterogeneity in soil properties is described by a log-normal distribution for surface saturated hydraulic conductivity. Comparisons between field-scale numerical and analytical simulation results for water movement in heterogeneous unsaturated soils show that the proposed expressions reproduce the evolution of surface soil moisture and infiltration rate with time. The analytical expressions hold promise for describing mean field infiltration rates and surface soil moisture evolution at field-scale over sandy loam and loamy sand soils. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil moisture; infiltration rate; Green-Ampt model; rainfall; effective saturated hydraulic conductivity soil moisture; infiltration rate; Green-Ampt model; rainfall; effective saturated hydraulic conductivity
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Ojha, R.; Corradini, C.; Morbidelli, R.; Govindaraju, R.S. Effective Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity for Representing Field-Scale Infiltration and Surface Soil Moisture in Heterogeneous Unsaturated Soils Subjected to Rainfall Events. Water 2017, 9, 134.

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