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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 17 No. 2, p. 87-91
    Received: Dec 8, 1952

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Pressure Distribution in Layered Soils during Continuous Water Flow1

  1. Paul R. Day and
  2. James N. Luthin2



The occurrence of a pressure deficiency (“tension”) in the liquid phase of flooded, freely drained soils has been observed in texturally stratified columns in the laboratory. This phenomenon has been explained in the following way on the basis of Darcy's law: If water flows downward through a soil layer at a rate which exceeds its hydraulic conductivity value, the loss of head by friction will exceed the energy supplied by gravity, and a pressure drop will occur along the path of flow.

A moderately permeable surface soil over a highly permeable substratum presents an excellent opportunity for the development of tension in the soil during flooding operations. The practical implications of this fact are discussed with reference to water spreading investigations.

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