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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 61 No. 5, p. 1318-1322
    Received: Aug 23, 1996

    * Corresponding author(s): Laowu@mail.ucr.edu
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A Generalized Solution to Infiltration from Single-Ring Infiltrometers by Scaling

  1. L. Wu  and
  2. L. Pan
  1. Department of Soil and Environmental Sciences, Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521



Water infiltration into soil from a ring infiltrometer is an important issue for many scientific and engineering problems. Due to the complexity of the three-dimensional water flow, no generalized solutions are available to describe the infiltration process from a finite ponding source. This study applied a scaling technique to three-dimensional axisymmetric infiltration from a single-ring infiltrometer to obtain a generalized infiltration solution and evaluated the effects of soil conditions and ring geometry on the scaled infiltration curves. A numerical model based on Richards' equation in the cylindrical coordinates was developed to simulate infiltration processes for three representative soils. By properly choosing length- and time-scale factors, the infiltration curves of the three test soils representing different hydraulic properties were successfully scaled to essentially a single dimensionless infiltration curve. Tests showed that the dimensionless infiltration curve was not very sensitive to applied ponding head, ring diameter, ring insertion depth, and initial soil conditions. Finally a dimensionless infiltration equation in the form of i* = a + blt*0.5 was developed. The example showed that the generalized infiltration equation can predict the infiltration curve simulated by Richards' equation very well.

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