Measurement of unsaturated hydraulic conductivity is needed for precise control of water and solutes in the vadose zone. Because of the spatial variation of soils, a large number of surface and subsurface measurements are needed to characterize a field. In this work, permeameters were developed and tested for estimating subsurface unsaturated hydraulic conductivity. The permeameters apply water under tension; they are easy to use and have adequate accuracy. Unsaturated hydraulic conductivity was determined by measuring the steady flow rates for various values of negative pressure. Tests using a soil of known hydraulic conductivity showed that the permeameters provided valid measurements. Two types were used, a porous cloth model that was inflated against the soil and a porous ceramic cup that was rigid. The field testing determined that a rigid design using a ceramic cup coupled to the soil by a layer of fine sand was easier to use, was reliable, and provided good results.
|Number of pages
|Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering
|Published - Feb 2000
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Water Science and Technology
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)