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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

A Limiting Flux Condition in Infiltration into Heterogeneous Porous Media1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 37 No. 1, p. 6-10
    Received: Aug 11, 1972
    Accepted: Nov 7, 1972

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  1. K. K. Watson,
  2. S. J. Perrens and
  3. F. D. Whisler2



Infiltration into a porous medium in which the hydraulic conductivity increases with depth is shown to approach at quite early times a limiting flux condition. This condition is defined by a pressure head profile in the saturated zone becoming tangential to the water entry value profile. Equations are presented enabling the values of the limiting flux (fl) and the elevation of the point of contact (zl) to be calculated in terms of the material properties and the boundary conditions. Below zl an unsaturated zone exists and wetting up in this zone continues under the condition of limiting flux. A method is presented whereby the pressure and water content profiles for this zone can be determined.

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