Water Retention Measurement for Soils

by Charles Su, Prof.; Dept. of Hydr. Engrg., Feng Chia Coll., Taichung, Taiwan; formerly, Grad. Research Asst., Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, Oreg.,
Royal H. Brooks, (M.ASCE), Prof.; Agr. Engrg., Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, Oreg.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Irrigation and Drainage Division, 1980, Vol. 106, Issue 2, Pg. 105-112

Document Type: Journal Paper


A method for rapidly obtaining water retention data for soils is presented. A variation of the Richard's pressure cell is used in which equilibrium at a particular water content is achieved by adjustment of the outflow pressure, rather than by permitting equilibrium to be reached at a fixed increment of water pressure. On the wetting cycle, water is added directly to the sample rather than being imbibed through the capillary barrier. The result is that data on both wetting and drying cycles can be obtained in a small fraction of the time needed for conventional procedures. Consistent data which fit on a smooth curve have been obtained. The results are thought to be comparable to those determined by the Richards procedure except, possibly, in a range of water contents greater than that at which an interconnected air phase exists.

Subject Headings: Water pressure | Water content | Retaining structures | Soil water | Equilibrium | Hydrologic data | Outflow | Water sampling

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