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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Predicting Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity Utilizing Fractal Principles


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 57 No. 5, p. 1193-1197
    Received: July 17, 1992

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. W. J. Rawls ,
  2. D. L. Brakensiek and
  3. S. D. Logsdon
  1. USDA-ARS Hydrology Lab., Beltsville, MD 20505
    Dep. of Agricultural Engineering, Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD 20741
    USDA-ARS Soil Tilth Lab., Ames, IA 50011



Preferential movement of surface-applied chemicals to the groundwater has resulted in a great need to physically model the movement of water into and through the soil media. The objective of this study was to develop equations capable of predicting both matrix and macropore saturated conductivity and to relate the equation parameters to readily available soil properties. Equations for predicting the matrix and macropore saturated conductivity were developed by coupling fractal processes with the Marshall saturated conductivity formulation. The equation uses matrix and macropore porosity, maximum pore radius, and number of pore classes. Prediction equations were developed relating the number of pore classes and maximum pore radius to soil properties. The modified Marshall saturated hydraulic conductivity equation appears to provide reasonable estimates of matrix and macropore saturated conductivity and is applicable to a wide range of soil textures.

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