Physics of hydrophobic soils

T. W.J. Bauters, T. S. Steenhuis, D. A. DiCarlo, J. L. Nieber, L. W. Dekker, C. J. Ritsema, J. Y. Parlange, R. Haverkamp

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Scopus citations


Although it is generally well known that water repellent soils have distinct preferential flow patterns, the physics of this phenomenon is not well understood. In this chapter, we show that water repellency affects the soil water contact angle and this, in turn, has a distinct effect on the constitutive relationships during imbibing. Using these constitutive relationships, unstable flow theory developed for coarse grained soils can be used to predict the shape and water content distribution for water repellent soils. A practical result of this paper is that with a basic experimental setup, we can characterize the imbibing front behavior by measuring the water entry pressure and the imbibing soil characteristic curve from the same heat treated soil.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSoil Water Repellency
Subtitle of host publicationOccurrence, Consequences, and Amelioration
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9780444512697
StatePublished - Apr 2003


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