Alternative Analytical Expressions for the General van Genuchten-Mualem and van Genuchten-Burdine Hydraulic Conductivity Models

D.D. Neto, Q.D. van Lier, M.T. van Genuchten, K. Reichardt, K. Metselaar, D.R. Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The van Genuchten expressions for the unsaturated soil hydraulic properties, first published in 1980, are used frequently in various vadose zone flow and transport applications assuming a specific relationship between the m and n soil hydraulic parameters. By comparison, probably because of the complexity of the hydraulic conductivity equations, the more general solutions with independent m and n values are rarely used. We expressed the general van Genuchten-Mualem and van Genuchten-Burdine hydraulic conductivity equations in terms of hypergeometric functions, which can be approximated by infinite series that converge rapidly for relatively large values of the van Genuchten-Mualem parameter n but only very slowly when n is close to one. Alternative equations were derived that provide very close approximations of the analytical results. The newly proposed equations allow the use of independent values of the parameters m and n in the soil water retention model of van Genuchten for subsequent prediction of the van Genuchten-Mualem and van Genuchten-Burdine hydraulic conductivity models, thus providing more flexibility in fitting experimental pressure-head-dependent water content, theta(h), and hydraulic conductivity, K(h), or K(theta) data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)618-623
JournalVadose Zone Journal
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • unsaturated soils
  • porous-media
  • permeability
  • flow

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Alternative Analytical Expressions for the General van Genuchten-Mualem and van Genuchten-Burdine Hydraulic Conductivity Models'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this