Simple field method for determining unsaturated hydraulic conductivity

Mark D. Ankeny*, Mushtaque Ahmed, Thomas C. Kaspar, Robert Horton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

373 Citations (Scopus)


A new method is proposed for determining in situ unsaturated hydraulic conductivities from unsaturated infiltration measurements made at several tensions on the same infiltration surface. Wooding's equation for steady-state unconfined infiltration rates is used in calculating hydraulic conductivities. Hydraulic conductivities calculated with the new method are consistent with unit gradient laboratory measurements of saturated and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity. This simple field method is potentially valuable because it is faster than unit gradient laboratory methods, and it is less disruptive of pore continuity than other field infiltration techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-470
Number of pages4
JournalSoil Science Society of America Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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