The steady state flow of water through unsaturated soil in the low capillary potential region Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/pv63g257d

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  • Several investigators have recently called attention to the fact that the flux equation for water movement in unsaturated soils may not be an appropriate mathematical model for the development of the theory of unsaturated flow phenomena. An analytical theory is developed for the purpose of testing the validity of the flux equation. The theory does not require the use of the unstable process of differentiating experimentally obtained data which can be subject to considerable error. Measurements of steady state water content profiles in a coarse textured soil in the low capillary potential region were made by using the gamma ray attenuation method. These data, subjected to the developed analysis, indicate that the water content gradient form of the flux equation is a valid model for the movement of water in unsaturated soils of coarse texture in the region of water contents employed. Two steady state methods of determining capillary conductivity and soil water diffusivity have been developed and evaluated on a coarse textured soil at water contents near saturation. Both methods have the distinct advantage that the flow parameters can be evaluated at distinct values of soil water content in contrast to the "average" values obtained by existing steady state techniques.
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