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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Rapid Estimate of Unsaturated Hydraulic Conductivity Function1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 42 No. 1, p. 170-172
    Received: May 9, 1977
    Accepted: Oct 3, 1977

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  1. E. Bresler,
  2. D. Russo and
  3. R. D. Miller2



From results of Reichardt, Nielsen, and Biggar and of Russo and Bresler, it is inferred that a laboratory horizontal infiltration experiment with air-dry soil yields an estimate of the saturated-unsaturated hydraulic conductivity function given by K(h) = 0.27 m4 (he/h)2.6 or K(θ) = 0.27 m4 [(θ − θd)/(θw − θd)]7.2. Here m = dx/d (t1/2); x is distance to the wetting front and t is infiltration time; θd and θw are water contents of air-dry and “saturated” soil; h is pore water pressure head, and he is the air entry value of h. These relationships can serve as a general approximation of K(θ) and K(h) in nonsodic stable soils. Field measurements of he and saturated K can also be used to derive K(θ) and K(h).

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