A Simplified Model for Areal-average Infiltration with Spatial Heterogeneity of Rainfall and Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity

R. Morbidelli, C. Corradini, C. Saltalippi, and F. Melone (Italy)


Hillslope hydrology, Infiltration, Spatial heterogeneity.


A simplified model for estimating the expected areal average infiltration at hillslope scale is presented. It considers a typical condition with coupled spatial heterogeneity of rainfall rate, r, and saturated hydraulic conductivity, Ks, both assumed as random variables. The model involves a series expansion of the local cumulative infiltration and is applicable within the range of variability of r and Ks which allows to disregard the run on process. It was tested by comparison with Monte Carlo simulations over two soil types and for a large range of the coefficients of variation of both Ks and r. The results suggested that the model is an adequate approximate solution, fairly simple to use for practical purposes.

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