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Determining hydraulic properties of a loam soil by alternative infiltrometer techniques

  • Autori: Alagna, V.; Bagarello, V.; Di Prima, S.; Iovino, M.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2016
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
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Testing infiltrometer techniques to determine soil hydraulic properties is necessary for specific soils. For a loam soil, the water retention and hydraulic conductivity predicted by the BEST (Beerkan Estimation of Soil Transfer parameters) procedure of soil hydraulic characterization was compared with data collected by more standard laboratory and field techniques. Six infiltrometer techniques were also compared in terms of saturated soil hydraulic conductivity, Ks. BEST yielded water retention values statistically similar to those obtained in the laboratory and Ks values practically coinciding with those determined in the field with the pressure infiltrometer (PI). The unsaturated soil hydraulic conductivity measured with the tension infiltrometer (TI) was reproduced satisfactorily by BEST only close to saturation. BEST, the PI, one-potential experiments with both the TI and the mini disk infiltrometer (MDI), the simplified falling head (SFH) technique and the bottomless bucket (BB) method yielded statistically similar estimates of Ks, differing at the most by a factor of three. Smaller values were obtained with longer and more soil-disturbing infiltration runs. Any of the tested infiltration techniques appears usable to obtain the order of magnitude of Ks at the field site, but the BEST, BB and PI data appear more appropriate to characterize the soil at some stage during a rainfall event. Additional investigations on both similar and different soils would allow development of more general procedures to apply infiltrometer techniques for soil hydraulic characterization.