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Simple Predictive Models for Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity of Technosands

Arthur, Emmanuel MSc1; Razzaghi, Fatemeh MSc1; Moldrup, Per PhD2; Tuller, Markus PhD3; Ferré, Ty P. A. PhD4; de Jonge, Lis Wollesen PhD1

doi: 10.1097/SS.0b013e3182435b18
Technical Article

Accurate estimation of saturated hydraulic conductivity (K s) of technosands (gravel-free, coarse sands with negligible organic matter content) is important for irrigation and drainage management of athletic fields and golf courses. In this study, we developed two simple models for predicting K s of technosands based on either (i) the classic Kozeny-Carman (K-C) model modified by considering the content of finer particles (fines) less than 200 μm to estimate an immobile water fraction or (ii) the Revil-Cathles (R-C) model modified by using the characteristic particle diameter from the Rosin-Rammler particle size distribution (PSD) function. The K s and PSD data of 14 golf course sands from literature as well as newly measured data for a size fraction of Lunar Regolith Simulant, packed at three different dry bulk densities, were used for model evaluation. The pore network tortuosity-connectivity parameter (m) obtained for pure coarse sand after fitting to measured K s data was 1.68 for both models and in good agreement with m values obtained from recent solute and gas diffusion studies. Both the modified K-C and R-C models are easy to use and require limited parameter input, and both models gave comparable accuracy as more complex K s models. The models are therefore recommended for preliminary assessment and design of technosand layers, for example, with regard to selecting sand PSD for optimal hydrological performance at athletic fields or golf courses.

1Department of Agroecology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Aarhus University, Tjele, Denmark.

2Department of Biotechnology, Chemistry and Environmental Engineering, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark.

3Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA.

4Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA.

Address for correspondence: Mr. Emmanuel Arthur, Department of Agroecology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Aarhus University, Tjele, Denmark. E-mail:

Received June 20, 2011.

Accepted for publication November 22, 2011.

Financial Disclosures/Conflicts of Interest: This study was financed by the Danish Research Council for Technology and Production Sciences under the auspices of the Soil Infrastructure, Interfaces, and Translocation Processes in Inner Space (Soil-it-is) project and inspired by the 2011 “Merging Measurements & Modeling in Soil Physics” course at the Research Centre Foulum, Aarhus University.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.