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Use of scaled forms of the infiltration equation for the estimation of unsaturated soil hydraulic properties (the Beerkan method)

Abstract : Water movement in soil can be described accurately at the local scale, provided that soil hydraulic properties can be determined with precision. Traditional methods for characterizing soil are often time consuming, and large areas cannot be sampled easily. We present a simple method for overcoming these difficulties. It is easy to implement and cheap. It is known as the Beerkan method, and it relies on particle-size analysis, dry bulk density and simple infiltration tests in cylinders. We describe the experimental protocol and the method of data analysis, leading to the estimation of parameters describing hydraulic properties. Shape parameters depend on soil texture and are derived from particle-size data. Normalization parameters depend on soil structure. They are derived by inverse modelling and optimization from the infiltration tests. The theoretical background relies on the sorptivity concept and scaled forms of the infiltration equation. The formalism for one- and three-dimensional analysis is described. We assess the accuracy of the method using published data and simulated values, showing the soundness of the approach. For the purpose of illustration, we implemented a simple optimization technique on two bounding cases.
Mots-clés : CEMAGREF HHLY HHLYHYD BEERKAN
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-00382108
Contributor : Thierry Pellarin <>
Submitted on : Thursday, May 7, 2009 - 12:08:39 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, November 19, 2020 - 3:54:29 PM

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Isabelle Braud, Devaraj de Condappa, Jose Miguel Soria, Randel Haverkamp, Rafael Angulo-Jaramillo, et al.. Use of scaled forms of the infiltration equation for the estimation of unsaturated soil hydraulic properties (the Beerkan method). European Journal of Soil Science, Wiley, 2005, 56 (3), pp.361 à 374. ⟨10.1111/j.1365-2389.2004.00660.x⟩. ⟨insu-00382108⟩

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