A modified version of the Hydrus software package that can directly or inversely simulate water flow in a transient centrifugal field is presented. The inverse solver for parameter estimation of the soil hydraulic parameters is then applied to multirotation transient flow experiments in a centrifuge. Using time-variable water contents measured at a sequence of several rotation speeds, soil hydraulic properties were successfully estimated by numerical inversion of transient experiments. The inverse method was then evaluated by comparing estimated soil hydraulic properties with those determined independently using an equilibrium analysis. The optimized soil hydraulic properties compared well with those determined using equilibrium analysis and steady state experiment. Multirotation experiments in a centrifuge not only offer significant time savings by accelerating time but also provide significantly more information for the parameter estimation procedure compared to multistep outflow experiments in a gravitational field. Copyright 2005 by the American Geophysical Union.
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Estimating soil hydraulic parameters from transient flow experiments in a centrifuge using parameter optimization technique