Variably Saturated Flow

Application ID: 500

This example utilizes the Richards’ Equation interface to assess how well geophysical irrigation sensors see the true level of fluid saturation in variably saturated soils. The challenge to characterizing fluid movement in variably saturated porous media lies primarily in the need to describe how the capacity to transmit and store fluids changes as fluids enter and fill the pore space. Experimental data for these properties are difficult to obtain. Moreover, the properties that change value as the soil saturates happen to be equation coefficients, which makes the mathematics notoriously nonlinear.

The Richards’ Equation interface provides interfaces that automate the van Genuchten and the Brooks and Corey relationships for fluid retention and material properties that vary with the solution.

This model example illustrates applications of this type that would nominally be built using the following products: