Automatic analysis of multiple Beerkan infiltration experiments for soil Hydraulic Characterization

Risultato della ricerca: Otherpeer review

Abstract

The BEST (Beerkan Estimation of Soil Transfer parameters) procedure of soil hydraulic characterization appears promising for intensively sample field areas with a reasonable effort both in terms of equipment and time passed in the field. Two alternative algorithms, i.e. BEST-slope and BEST-intercept, have been suggested to determine soil sorptivity and field-saturated soil hydraulic conductivity from a simply measured cumulative infiltration curve. With both algorithms, calculations have to be repeated also many times, depending on the number of collected infiltration data, that should vary between eight and 15. The need to consider a varying number of infiltration data is related to the fact that the infiltration model used in BEST is valid for the transient phase of the process, and only experimental data representative of this phase of the infiltration process have to be selected. The fitting of the theoretical model to the data is carried out by minimizing the sum of the squared residuals between estimated and measured infiltration data. Therefore, analyzing a single run may demand a lot of time, since many calculations have to be carried out. This circumstance complicates soil hydraulic characterization based on an intensive soil sampling, and it also increases the risk to make mistakes. These problems are expected to be substantially reduced, or even eliminated, if an automatic procedure of data analysis is applied. The general objective of this investigation was to develop an automatic data processing tool to easily and rapidly analyze databases including several BEST runs. The developed tool makes use of the Microsoft Excel Solver add-in routine. A Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macro was written to automate creation and manipulation of Microsoft Excel Solver models. A looping structure was used in the VBA macro to automate data analysis of BEST experiments. The developed tool can be viewed as a practically useful contribution to an expeditious, intensive soil hydraulic characterization, also in terms of analysis of the collected data.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine1
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2013

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