Wetting front evolution in randomly heterogeneous soils

Alexandre M. Tartakovsky, Shlomo P. Neuman, Daniel M. Tartakovsky

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Philip [1975] was the first to investigate the stability of a wetting front in a stratified soil using rigorous hydrodynamic arguments. He based his analysis on the Green and Ampt [1911] model and treated permeability as a known function of depth. We adopt the same model to develop integro-differential equations for leading statistical moments of wetting front propagation in a three-dimensional, randomly heterogeneous soil. We solve these equations analytically for mean front position and mean pressure head gradient in one spatial dimension, to second order in the standard deviation of log conductivity. We do the same for second moments of front positions and pressure head gradient, which serve as measures of predictive uncertainty. To verify the accuracy of our solution, we compare it with the results of numerical Monte Carlo simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEnvironmental Mechanics
Subtitle of host publicationWater, Mass and Energy Transfer in the Biosphere, 2002
EditorsDavid Smiles, Peter A.C. Raats, Arthur W. Warrick
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781118668658
ISBN (Print)9780875909882
StatePublished - 2002

Publication series

NameGeophysical Monograph Series
ISSN (Print)0065-8448
ISSN (Electronic)2328-8779

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics


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