Infiltration into Thick Unsaturated Alluvial Deposits: A Preliminary Study

by Karl A. Martin, Bureau of Reclamation, Albuquerque, United States,
Drew C. Baird, Bureau of Reclamation, Albuquerque, United States,
Robert J. Glass, Bureau of Reclamation, Albuquerque, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering Hydrology


An infiltration and dye transport study in an unsaturated alluvial deposit was conducted using a square flooding type infiltrometer over a 50 hour period. Red and blue dyes were added to the applied water and photographs taken of the exposed face to determine the rate of advancement of the dye and wetting fronts. After infiltration was stopped, vertical 'slices' were excavated at regular intervals up to the midpoint of the infiltrometer so the shape of the fronts could be described in a quasi three-dimensional manner. Dye fronts exhibited significantly more complication than did the wetting front suggesting highly variable solute transport in these alluvial deposits. Lateral spreading was twice that of the vertical movement indicating anisotropy due to pronounced horizontal layering. Infiltration measurements were compared with established infiltration equations.

Subject Headings: Infiltration | Dyes | Alluvium | Photography | Vertical loads | Pollutants | Hydrology

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