1. bookVolume 69 (2021): Issue 2 (June 2021)
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28 Mar 2009
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access type Open Access

Rapid and accurate measurement methods for determining soil hydraulic properties: A review

Published Online: 21 May 2021
Page range: 121 - 139
Received: 31 Oct 2020
Accepted: 23 Dec 2020
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
28 Mar 2009
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

The determination of soil hydraulic properties is important in several environmental sciences but may be expensive and time consuming. Therefore, during the last decades, a great effort has been made in soil sciences to develop relatively easy, robust, and inexpensive methods for soil hydraulic characterization. In this manuscript, we reviewed and discussed different infiltrometer techniques in light of the available experimental applications. More specifically, we considered the simplified falling head (SFH) infiltrometer technique and the single-ring infiltration experiment of the Beerkan type. Concerning this latter method, we considered different algorithms for data analysis: two simplified methods based on the analysis of transient (TSBI) and steady (SSBI) Beerkan infiltration data, and the Beerkan Estimation of Soil pedoTransfer parameters algorithm (BEST), that allows to estimate the soil characteristics curves, i.e., the soil water retention curve and hydraulic conductivity functions. For a given method, after dealing briefly theory and practice, available literature references were reported to account for specific applications in order to provide findings on method validation and application. With the aim to provide practical information on available tools for a simpler application of the reviewed methods, several video tutorials were reported to show i) how to conduct correctly field experiments and ii) how to calculate saturated hydraulic conductivity or soil hydraulic functions using user-friendly tools for data analysis. Finally, details on a new automated single-ring infiltrometer for Beerkan infiltration experiments (i.e., construction, assembly and field use) were presented.

Keywords

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