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A constant head well permeameter formula comparison: its significance in the estimation of field saturated hydraulic conductivity in heterogenous shallow soils

Archer, N.A.L.; Bonnell, M.; MacDonald, A.M.; Coles, N.. 2014 A constant head well permeameter formula comparison: its significance in the estimation of field saturated hydraulic conductivity in heterogenous shallow soils. Hydrology Research, 45 (6). 788-805. 10.2166/nh.2014.159

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Abstract/Summary

We evaluate the application and investigate various formulae (and the associated parameter sensitivities) using the constant head well permeameter method to estimate field hydraulic conductivity (Kfs) in a previously glaciated temperate landscape in the Scottish Borders where shallow soils constrain the depth of augering. In finer-textured soils, the Glover equation provided Kfs estimates nearly twice those of the Richards equation. For this environment we preferred the Glover equation with a correction factor for the effect of gravity, which does not include soil capillarity effects because: (1) the low depth to diameter ratio of the auger holes (AH) required in the shallow stratified soils of temperate glaciated environment needs a correction for gravity; (2) the persistently moist environment and the use of long pre-wetting times before measurements seem to reduce the effect of soil capillarity; (3) the Richards equation is dependent on accurate α* values, but the measured AH intersected soil horizon boundaries that had different soil structure and texture, which caused difficulty in selecting the most appropriate α* value; (4) when comparing the different solutions to estimate Kfs using the constant-head well permeameter method against the AH method and ponded permeameter measurements, the Glover solution with a correction for gravity gave the best comparable result in fine-textured soil.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.2166/nh.2014.159
ISSN: 0029-1277
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Date made live: 25 Sep 2014 13:01 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/508381

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