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Malleable disc base for direct infiltration measurements using the tension infiltrometry technique

AuthorsMoret-Fernández, David CSIC ORCID ; Blanco-Moure, Nuria CSIC; Martínez-Chueca, Víctor CSIC; Bielsa Aced, Ana CSIC
Keywordscumulative infiltration curve
hydraulic conductivity
Issue Date2013
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
CitationMoret-Fernández D, Blanco N, Martínez-Chueca V, Bielsa A. Malleable disc base for direct infiltration measurements using the tension infiltrometry technique. Hydrological Processes 27 (2): 275-283 (2013)
AbstractThe correct use of the tension disc infiltrometer requires the membrane of the disc base to be completely in contact with the soil surface. To achieve this contact, a thick layer of sand is commonly placed between the soil surface and the disc base. This paper presents an alternative disc (MDB), which, by incorporating a malleable membrane, allows direct infiltration measurements without using a contact sand layer. Infiltration curves obtained with this new design in a soil under three different tillage management treatments were compared with the corresponding curves obtained with a conventional disc (CDB) that uses a contact sand layer. The cumulative infiltration curves measured with CDB were analysed by the differentiated linearization (DL) method, and the corresponding curves obtained with MDB were analysed using both the DL and the cumulative linearization (CL) models. The values of hydraulic conductivity (K0) and sorptivity (S0) estimated with CDB were also compared with those obtained with MDB. Finally, the cumulative infiltration curves measured with CDB and MDB were compared with the corresponding modelled function for the respective K0 and S0 values calculated with the CL and DL models. The results show that, compared with CDB without a contact sand layer, MDB allows complete soil surface wetting even when non-smoothed soil surfaces are used. The CDB, which yielded average K0 values 18% lower than those estimated with MDB, gave the highest values of standard error for the hydraulic parameters calculated. Furthermore, the subjective method employed in the CDB-DL technique, which requires the first points of the differential infiltration line corresponding to the sand layer to be manually removed, introduces additional uncertainties in estimating S0 and K0. Comparison between the modelled and measured infiltration curves demonstrates that the DL or CL methods applied to MDB gave excellent estimates of S0 and K0.
Description19 Pags. The definitive version, with 2 Tabls. and 6 Figs., is available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1099-1085
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hyp.9206
Appears in Collections:(EEAD) Artículos
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