Accuracy of Saturated Soil Hydraulic Conductivity Estimated from Numerically Simulated Single-Ring Infiltrations

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Abstract

The single-ring pressure infiltrometer (PI) method is widely used to determine saturated soil hydraulic conductivity, Ks, directly in the field. The original and still most common way to analyze the data makes use of the steady-state model developed by the Canadian School in the 90’s and two (Two-Ponding-Depth, TPD, approach) or more (Multiple-Ponding-Depth, MPD, approach) depths of ponding. The so-called Wu method based on a generalized infiltration equation allows to analyze the transient infiltration data collected by establishing a single ponding depth of water on the infiltration surface. This investigation, making use of simulated infiltration runs for initially unsaturated sand to silty clay loam soils showed that, with a run duration of practical interest (e.g. 2 hours), the PI can be expected to yield more accurate estimates of Ks in coarse-textured soils than in fine-textured soils even if the transient method is used instead of the steady-state one. Performing a three-level experiment and analyzing the estimated steady-state infiltration rates with both the TPD and MPD approaches is a way to predict the reliability of the estimated Ks value. The Ks accuracy should be acceptable if the two approaches yield similar results. Otherwise, the MPD approach should be expected to yield more accurate Ks estimates than the TPD approach. The transient method does not solve the Ks inaccuracy problems in fine-textured soils because obtaining accurate Ks data requires that the portion of total infiltration varying linearly with time represents a high percentage of total infiltration, but this percentage is small in fine textured soils when the run does not exceed a few hours. This investigation opens some new perspective on the use of infiltration data to make predictions on the expected reliability of the Ks calculations with reference to both steady-state and transient data analysis procedures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalVadose Zone Journal
Volume18
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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hydraulic conductivity
infiltration (hydrology)
infiltration
fine-textured soils
soil
infiltrometers
infiltrometer
coarse-textured soils
silty clay loam
methodology
data analysis
sand
duration
prediction
method
water

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Soil Science

Cite this

@article{5da3722b954f467da8780795ddb84911,
title = "Accuracy of Saturated Soil Hydraulic Conductivity Estimated from Numerically Simulated Single-Ring Infiltrations",
abstract = "The single-ring pressure infiltrometer (PI) method is widely used to determine saturated soil hydraulic conductivity, Ks, directly in the field. The original and still most common way to analyze the data makes use of the steady-state model developed by the Canadian School in the 90’s and two (Two-Ponding-Depth, TPD, approach) or more (Multiple-Ponding-Depth, MPD, approach) depths of ponding. The so-called Wu method based on a generalized infiltration equation allows to analyze the transient infiltration data collected by establishing a single ponding depth of water on the infiltration surface. This investigation, making use of simulated infiltration runs for initially unsaturated sand to silty clay loam soils showed that, with a run duration of practical interest (e.g. 2 hours), the PI can be expected to yield more accurate estimates of Ks in coarse-textured soils than in fine-textured soils even if the transient method is used instead of the steady-state one. Performing a three-level experiment and analyzing the estimated steady-state infiltration rates with both the TPD and MPD approaches is a way to predict the reliability of the estimated Ks value. The Ks accuracy should be acceptable if the two approaches yield similar results. Otherwise, the MPD approach should be expected to yield more accurate Ks estimates than the TPD approach. The transient method does not solve the Ks inaccuracy problems in fine-textured soils because obtaining accurate Ks data requires that the portion of total infiltration varying linearly with time represents a high percentage of total infiltration, but this percentage is small in fine textured soils when the run does not exceed a few hours. This investigation opens some new perspective on the use of infiltration data to make predictions on the expected reliability of the Ks calculations with reference to both steady-state and transient data analysis procedures.",
author = "Vincenzo Bagarello and Massimo Iovino and Jianbin Lai",
year = "2019",
language = "English",
volume = "18",
pages = "1--12",
journal = "Vadose Zone Journal",
issn = "1539-1663",
publisher = "Soil Science Society of America",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Accuracy of Saturated Soil Hydraulic Conductivity Estimated from Numerically Simulated Single-Ring Infiltrations

AU - Bagarello, Vincenzo

AU - Iovino, Massimo

AU - Lai, Jianbin

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - The single-ring pressure infiltrometer (PI) method is widely used to determine saturated soil hydraulic conductivity, Ks, directly in the field. The original and still most common way to analyze the data makes use of the steady-state model developed by the Canadian School in the 90’s and two (Two-Ponding-Depth, TPD, approach) or more (Multiple-Ponding-Depth, MPD, approach) depths of ponding. The so-called Wu method based on a generalized infiltration equation allows to analyze the transient infiltration data collected by establishing a single ponding depth of water on the infiltration surface. This investigation, making use of simulated infiltration runs for initially unsaturated sand to silty clay loam soils showed that, with a run duration of practical interest (e.g. 2 hours), the PI can be expected to yield more accurate estimates of Ks in coarse-textured soils than in fine-textured soils even if the transient method is used instead of the steady-state one. Performing a three-level experiment and analyzing the estimated steady-state infiltration rates with both the TPD and MPD approaches is a way to predict the reliability of the estimated Ks value. The Ks accuracy should be acceptable if the two approaches yield similar results. Otherwise, the MPD approach should be expected to yield more accurate Ks estimates than the TPD approach. The transient method does not solve the Ks inaccuracy problems in fine-textured soils because obtaining accurate Ks data requires that the portion of total infiltration varying linearly with time represents a high percentage of total infiltration, but this percentage is small in fine textured soils when the run does not exceed a few hours. This investigation opens some new perspective on the use of infiltration data to make predictions on the expected reliability of the Ks calculations with reference to both steady-state and transient data analysis procedures.

AB - The single-ring pressure infiltrometer (PI) method is widely used to determine saturated soil hydraulic conductivity, Ks, directly in the field. The original and still most common way to analyze the data makes use of the steady-state model developed by the Canadian School in the 90’s and two (Two-Ponding-Depth, TPD, approach) or more (Multiple-Ponding-Depth, MPD, approach) depths of ponding. The so-called Wu method based on a generalized infiltration equation allows to analyze the transient infiltration data collected by establishing a single ponding depth of water on the infiltration surface. This investigation, making use of simulated infiltration runs for initially unsaturated sand to silty clay loam soils showed that, with a run duration of practical interest (e.g. 2 hours), the PI can be expected to yield more accurate estimates of Ks in coarse-textured soils than in fine-textured soils even if the transient method is used instead of the steady-state one. Performing a three-level experiment and analyzing the estimated steady-state infiltration rates with both the TPD and MPD approaches is a way to predict the reliability of the estimated Ks value. The Ks accuracy should be acceptable if the two approaches yield similar results. Otherwise, the MPD approach should be expected to yield more accurate Ks estimates than the TPD approach. The transient method does not solve the Ks inaccuracy problems in fine-textured soils because obtaining accurate Ks data requires that the portion of total infiltration varying linearly with time represents a high percentage of total infiltration, but this percentage is small in fine textured soils when the run does not exceed a few hours. This investigation opens some new perspective on the use of infiltration data to make predictions on the expected reliability of the Ks calculations with reference to both steady-state and transient data analysis procedures.

UR - http://hdl.handle.net/10447/349737

M3 - Article

VL - 18

SP - 1

EP - 12

JO - Vadose Zone Journal

JF - Vadose Zone Journal

SN - 1539-1663

ER -