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Geomechanics and Engineering
  Volume 22, Number 2, July25 2020, pages 153-163

Infiltration characteristics and hydraulic conductivity of weathered unsaturated soils
Young-Suk Song and Seongwon Hong

    Laboratory experiments were conducted with two different soil conditions to investigate rainfall infiltration characteristics. The soil layer materials that were tested were weathered granite soil and weathered gneiss soil. Artificial rainfall of 80 mm/hr was reproduced through the use of a rainfall device, and the volumetric water content and matric suction were measured. In the case of the granite soil, the saturation velocity and the moving direction of the wetting front were fast and upward, respectively, whereas in the case of the weathered gneiss soil, the velocity and direction were slow and downward, respectively. Rainfall penetrated and saturated from the bottom to the top as the hydraulic conductivity of the granite soil was higher than the infiltration capacity of the artificial rainfall. In contrast, as the hydraulic conductivity of the gneiss soil was lower than the infiltration capacity of the rainfall, ponding occurred on the surface: part of the rainfall first infiltrated, with the remaining rainfall subsequently flowing out. The unsaturated hydraulic conductivity function of weathered soils was determined and analyzed with matric suction and the effective degree of saturation.
Key Words
    infiltration; rainfall intensity; unsaturated hydraulic conductivity; weathered gneiss soil; weathered granite soil
Young-Suk Song: Geologic Environment Division, Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources, Daejeon 34132, Korea

Seongwon Hong: Department of Safety Engineering, Korea National University of Transportation, Chungju-si, Chungbuk 27469, Korea

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