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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 46 No. 1, p. 9-14
    Received: Apr 22, 1981
    Accepted: Aug 31, 1981

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Hydrodynamic Dispersion During Unsteady, Unsaturated Water Flow in a Clay Soil1

  1. D. E. Smiles and
  2. B. N. Gardiner2



When a 10-1M calcium chloride (CaCl2) solution was absorbed by a calcium-saturated clay soil in which both the water content, θ, and solution salt concentration, C, were initially low, it was found that both θ and C were uniquely defined by the distance divided by the square root of time.

The “salt front” did not, however, coincide with the piston front that would exist given perfect displacement of the water initially present in the soil by the water being absorbed. The effect was attributed to a water layer of a thickness about 9Å at the clay surface, which was inaccessible to the anion.

Examination of the salt balance indicated that there appeared to be no restriction on the entry of the CaCl2 into this soil when compared with the water, and an analysis using material coordinates and a constant dispersion coefficient permitted reasonable prediction of the solution salt concentration profile if the inaccessible water was taken into account.

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