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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Designs for Disc Permeameters1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 52 No. 5, p. 1205-1215
    Received: Nov 30, 1987

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  1. K. M. Perroux and
  2. I. White *
  1. CSIRO Division of Environmental Mechanics, GPO Box 821, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia



Disc permeameters are designed to measure hydraulic properties of field soils containing macropores and preferential flow paths and are particularly useful in soil management studies. We present here designs for disc permeameters for both positive and negative water supply heads. The effects of the water supply membrane and soil contact material on permeameter performance are examined using approximate quasi-analytic solutions to the flow equation. This analysis provides approximate criteria for the selection of membrane and soil contact materials. Limitations to performance caused by restricted air entry are considered and design criteria are given also. We present in situ tests of the disc permeameter for the early stages of one-dimensional infiltration and an example of the deterministic variation of sorptivity of a field soil with supply potential. Finally, we use ponded and unsaturated sorptivities measured in situ with disc permeameters to find the saturated hydraulic conductivity and flow-weighted mean characteristic pore dimension of a field soil.

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