Vertical Transport in the Vadose Zone by Fingering

by Steven J. Wright, Univ of Michigan, Ann Arbor, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulics/Hydrology of Arid Lands (H²AL)

Abstract: Water containing contaminants may infiltrate through the vadose zone as a series of fingers which result from a hydrodynamic instability initiated at an interface in which a fine textured soil overlies a coarser one. Although a number of theoretical analyses have been developed to predict the onset of the instabilities, experimental investigations have been severely limited by the difficulty in obtaining the necessary measurements. The present study makes use of neutron radiography to visualize both the onset of the instabilities and their subsequent propagation. Results obtained to date are in general agreement with some of the proposed theories.

Subject Headings: Vadose zone | Soil pollution | Soil water | Radiography | Water pollution | Pollutants | Infiltration

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