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Keywords:

  • unsaturated soil;
  • heterogeneous;
  • multilayered;
  • cross-anisotropic;
  • steady state;
  • moisture potential

Abstract

The paper presents the analytical solution for the steady-state infiltration from a buried point source into two types of heterogeneous cross-anisotropic unsaturated half-spaces. In the first case, the heterogeneity of the soil is modelled by an exponential relationship between the hydraulic conductivity and the soil depth. In the second case, the heterogeneous soil is represented by a multilayered half-space where each layer is homogeneous. The hydraulic conductivity varies exponentially with moisture potential and this leads to the linearization of the Richards equation governing unsaturated flow. The analytical solution is obtained by using the Hankel integral transform. For the multilayered case, the combination of a special forward and backward transfer matrix techniques makes the numerical evaluation of the solution very accurate and efficient. The correctness of both formulations is validated by comparison with alternative solutions for two different cases. The results from typical cases are presented to illustrate the influence on the flow field of the cross-anisotropic hydraulic conductivity, the soil heterogeneity and the depth of the source. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.