Infiltration into Two-Layered Soil: The Green–Ampt and Averyanov Models Revisited

Ali Al-Maktoumi*, Anvar Kacimov, Said Al-Ismaily, Hamed Al-Busaidi, Said Al-Saqri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Infiltration into a two-layered soil (continuum scale) is studied by the Green–Ampt (GA) model where the rate of infiltration (wetting front propagation) is a non-monotonic and discontinuous function of time. Both a constant ponding depth and a ponding level falling due to evaporation and infiltration are studied theoretically and in column experiments. The triads of saturated conductivity, porosity and front pressure in the two zones, as well as gravity, control vertical infiltration. Another model on the scale of a straight cylindrical capillary uses the Averyanov regime of a film flow, modified to include a front which is a quarter of a torus, rather than a spherical cap in a standard Washburn–Lukas model. The rate of front propagation is controlled by the Newtonian viscosity, tube-film sizes, surface tension, contact angle and gravity. For both scales, Cauchy problems for ODEs with respect to the front position are solved by computer algebra integration. In the field, pedon description and textural analysis of sedimentation-controlled layering are done. Of particular note is the thick cake deposited from a flash flood water pulse, which has very low permeability and can greatly inhibit infiltration. The infiltration rates measured by tension infiltrometers fluctuate, which is attributed to the mosaic and layered special distribution of hydraulic and capillary properties of the accrued sediments. Falling ponding depth laboratory experiments were conducted in four columns with a coarse substratum (sand) subjacent to a layer of thoroughly homogenized repacked dam silt. Imbibition front stopped at the interface between two texturally contrasting strata and the “waiting time” of the capillary barrier breakthrough was measured, as well as further oscillations of the infiltrations rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-193
Number of pages25
JournalTransport in Porous Media
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 27 2015


  • Continuum- and pore-scale models
  • Infiltration rate
  • Tension infiltrometer
  • Wetting front

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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