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Rainfall Infiltration Modeling: A Review

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Perugia, via G. Duranti 93, 06125 Perugia, Italy
Lyles School of Civil Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2018, 10(12), 1873;
Received: 7 December 2018 / Accepted: 13 December 2018 / Published: 18 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rainfall Infiltration Modeling)
PDF [1558 KB, uploaded 18 December 2018]


Infiltration of water into soil is a key process in various fields, including hydrology, hydraulic works, agriculture, and transport of pollutants. Depending upon rainfall and soil characteristics as well as from initial and very complex boundary conditions, an exhaustive understanding of infiltration and its mathematical representation can be challenging. During the last decades, significant research effort has been expended to enhance the seminal contributions of Green, Ampt, Horton, Philip, Brutsaert, Parlange and many other scientists. This review paper retraces some important milestones that led to the definition of basic mathematical models, both at the local and field scales. Some open problems, especially those involving the vertical and horizontal inhomogeneity of the soils, are explored. Finally, rainfall infiltration modeling over surfaces with significant slopes is also discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrology; infiltration process; local infiltration models; areal-average infiltration models; layered soils hydrology; infiltration process; local infiltration models; areal-average infiltration models; layered soils

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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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Morbidelli, R.; Corradini, C.; Saltalippi, C.; Flammini, A.; Dari, J.; Govindaraju, R.S. Rainfall Infiltration Modeling: A Review. Water 2018, 10, 1873.

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