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Application of a twin disc infiltrometer

Smettem, K.R.J., Ross, P.J., Haverkamp, R. and Parlange, J.Y. (1994) Application of a twin disc infiltrometer. In: Proceedings of the Water Down Under 1994 Conference. Part 3, 21 - 25 November, Adelaide, Australia pp. 183-186.


A twin disc infiltrometer is developed to simultaneously measure one-dimensional cumulative infiltration. The assumption that flow at early times is essentially one-dimensional is shown to introduce error when estimating sorptivity, resulting in estimates that are greater than the true one-dimensional sorptivity. In contrast, sorptivity calculations using our recently developed three-dimensional infiltration equation give quite precise estimates of sorptivity. The difference between three-dimensional and one-dimensional infiltration is used to calculate the value of the infiltration parameter γ from the twin disc experiment. This parameter, together with the correct one-dimensional sorptivity, provide the information necessary to calculate the contribution of gravitational flow during three-dimensional infiltration. It is shown that when three-dimensional infiltration is dominated by capillary effects, as is often the case, estimation of hydraulic conductivity using quasi-steady-state solutions may not be possible.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Publisher: Institution of Engineers, Australia
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