Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo
versão impressa ISSN 0100-0683
FUENTES, Carlos et al. A fractal model to estimate the unsaturated hydraulic conductivity of soils. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2005, vol.29, n.1, pp. 51-60. ISSN 0100-0683. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-06832005000100006.
From a conceptual model based on fractal geometry and Laplace's and Poiseuille's laws, a versatile and general fractal model for the hydraulic conductivity to be used in the soils was developed. The soil-moisture retention curve is derived from a power model. Due to the fact that the proposed model of hydraulic conductivity introduces a still unknown interpolation parameter, which in turn is a function of soil properties, its limiting values were considered for the analysis. To apply the model in the soil, the form parameters of the soil-moisture retention curve were chosen so as to reproduce van Genuchten's equation. In order to obtain a closed-form equation for the hydraulic conductivity, relationships between the form parameters were imposed. The comparison between the predicted and experimental hydraulic conductivity from two soils, Oxisol and Yellow Utilsol, demonstrated that the proposed model is flexible and that it can be used to predict the unsaturated hydraulic conductivity of soils with good accuracy.
Palavras-chave : hydraulic conductivity; soil-moisture retention curve; fractal model.