On preferential flow and its measurement

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Preferential flow is a useful generic term for describing the process whereby water movement through a porous medium follows favored routes bypassing other parts of the medium. This term does not give any indication of the pore scales involved. Sometimes macropore flow is used to describe preferential flow and this term implies that large pores of some sort are conductive. There is no consensus definition of what constitutes a macropore so one needs to carefully determine what is meant when that term is used. The main focus of this report is on the measurement and characterization of preferential flow through ... continued below

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Pages: (10 p)

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Luxmoore, R.J. January 1, 1991.

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Description

Preferential flow is a useful generic term for describing the process whereby water movement through a porous medium follows favored routes bypassing other parts of the medium. This term does not give any indication of the pore scales involved. Sometimes macropore flow is used to describe preferential flow and this term implies that large pores of some sort are conductive. There is no consensus definition of what constitutes a macropore so one needs to carefully determine what is meant when that term is used. The main focus of this report is on the measurement and characterization of preferential flow through structured soils, however, preferred path flow also occurs in sandy soils. Fingering flow in soils, a result of wetting front instability, is a third type of preferential flow that occurs in porous media with more or less random pore arrangement. There may not be any physically defined channels in the soil to account for this type of flow. A larger scale flow described as funnel flow by Kung et al. (1990) results from profile heterogeneity. Low permeability layers or coarse lenses in a profile may restrict vertical drainage redirecting flow laterally through specific regions of the profile (like a funnel). Water repellency can also be a factor in the development of preferential flow. 34 refs.

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Pages: (10 p)

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OSTI; NTIS; GPO Dep.

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  • American Society of Agricultural Engineers (ASAE) symposium on national preferential flow, Chicago, IL (United States), 16-17 Dec 1991

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  • Other: DE92000042
  • Report No.: CONF-911255-1
  • Grant Number: AC05-84OR21400
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 5085343
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1057307

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  • January 1, 1991

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  • Jan. 22, 2018, 7:23 a.m.

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  • Feb. 1, 2018, 6:18 p.m.

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Luxmoore, R.J. On preferential flow and its measurement, article, January 1, 1991; Tennessee. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1057307/: accessed October 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.