A Generalized Solution to Infiltration from a Surface Point Source
- R. W. Healy and
- A. W. Warrick
A method is presented for the estimation of the time-variant extent of the wetting front and wetted volume that develop in soil in response to infiltration from a surface point source. The method is based on a numerical finite-differences solution of a dimensionless form of Richard's equation for axially symmetric flow. The generalized solutions are obtained from empirical equations, the coefficients for which are contained in a single table for a variety of soils and source strengths. Results for specific locations are obtained by application of scaling factors to the generalized results and possibly some interpolation. The method should be of particular value in the design of trickle irrigation systems by allowing simple estimation of rates and lengths of water application, as well as spacing between water emitters.
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