Modeling infiltration during a steady rain


  • Russell G. Mein,

  • Curtis L. Larson


Few of the infiltration models in current use are suitable for the situation in which the rainfall intensity is initially less than the infiltration capacity of the soil. In this paper a simple two-stage model is developed for infiltration under a constant intensity rainfall into a homogeneous soil with uniform initial moisture content. The first stage predicts the volume of infiltration to the moment at which surface ponding begins. The second stage, which is the Green-Ampt model modified for the infiltration prior to surface saturation, describes the subsequent infiltration behavior. A method for estimating the mean suction of the wetting front is given. Comparison of the model predictions with experimental data and numerical solutions of the Richards equation for several soil types shows excellent agreement.