A simple temperature-sensitive modification to the Green and Ampt infiltration equation is described; this assumes that the temperature dependence of the hydraulic conductivity is reciprocally equal to the temperature dependence of the viscosity of liquid water, and that both the transmission zone saturation and the wetting front matric potential gradient are independent of temperature. This modified Green and Ampt equation is compared with ponded, isothermal infiltration experiments run on repacked columns of Olympic Sand and Aiken Loam at 5, 25, and 60??C. Experimental results showed increases in infiltration rates of at least 300% between 5 and 60??C for both soil materials, with subsequent increases in cumulative infiltration of even greater magnitudes for the loam. There is good agreement between measured and predicted initial infiltration rates at 25??C for both soil materials, yet at 60??C, the predicted results overestimate initial infiltration rates for the sand and underestimate initial rates for the loam. Measurements of the wetting depth vs. cumulative infiltration indicate that the transmission zone saturation increased with increasing temperature for both soil materials. In spite of this increased saturation with temperature, the final infiltration rates at both 25 and 60??C were predicted accurately using the modified Green and Ampt equation. This suggests that increased saturation occurred primarily in dead-end pore spaces, so that transmission zone hydraulic conductivities were unaffected by these temperature-induced changes in saturation. In conclusion, except for initial infiltration rates at 60??C, the measured influence of temperature on infiltration rates was fully accounted for by the temperature dependence of the viscosity of liquid water. ?? 1991.
Additional publication details
The temperature dependence of ponded infiltration under isothermal conditions