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# INFILTRATION TEST

1.0 INTRODUCTION

Some of the precipitation that falls on land seeps into the ground where it is stored in
aquifers and is transported to streams and lakes by subsurface flow. The amount of infiltration is
influenced by the permeability and moisture content of the soil, the presence of vegetation and the
volume and intensity of precipitation. The amount of water in an aquifer is indicated by the height
of the water table (the upper boundary of aquifer). This animation illustrates the effect of soil
permeability (large particles have large spaces between them and let more water in) and
precipitation volume (large rain events can lead to more infiltration) on the amount of water stored
in the aquifer.

2.0 OBJECTIVE

To identify the characteristics of the infiltration rate of water into soils in the field.

## 2.0 LEARNING OUTCOME

At the end of the course, students should be able to apply the knowledge and skills they have
learned to:

## a) Understand the concept of infiltration of water into soils.

b) Understand the factors which influence the infiltration rates.

4.0 THEORY

The volume of water used during each measured time interval is converted into an incremental
infiltration velocity for both the inner ring and annular space using the following equations; 𝑉𝐼𝑅 =
∆ 𝑉𝐼𝑅 ⁄(𝐴𝐼𝑅 . ∆𝑇) where, 𝑉𝐼𝑅 is the inner ring incremental infiltration velocity (cm/hr), Δ𝑉𝐼𝑅 is the
volume of water used during time interval to maintain constant head in the inner ring (mL), 𝐴𝐼𝑅 is
the internal area of inner ring (cm2) and Δt is the time interval (hour). For the annular space
between rings, calculate as follows; VA𝑉𝐴 = Δ𝑉𝐴 / (𝐴𝐴 .Δt) where, 𝑉𝐴 is the annular space
incremental infiltration velocity (cm/hr), Δ𝑉𝐴 is the volume of water used during time interval to
maintain constant head in the annular space between the rings (mL), 𝐴𝐴 is the area of annular space
(𝑐𝑚2 ) and Δt is the time interval (hour). The infiltration rate calculated with the inner ring should
be the value used for results if the rates for the inner ring and annular space differ. The difference
in rates is due to divergent flow.

5.0 EQUIPMENT
Two stainless steels rings measure 12” and 24” diameter x 20” high and some other equipment
6.0 PROCEDURE

i. Hammer the outer ring at least 1/4 height ring into the soil. Use the timber to protect
the ring from damage during hammering. Keep the side of the ring vertical.

ii. Hammer the inner ring into the soil or construct an earth bund around the 1/4 height
ring to the same height as the ring. Make sure the ring in the center outer ring.

iii. Start the test by pouring water into the outer ring until the depth is 10cm. Wait the water
down until the depth is 5cm. Then add the outer or large ring with water until the depth
is 10cm again. At the same time, add water to the space between the two rings or the
ring and the bund to the same depth. Do this quickly.

iv. Record the clock time when the test begins and note the water level on the measuring
rod.

v. After 1-2 minutes, record the drop in water level in the inner ring on the measuring rod
and add water to bring the level back to approximately the original level at the start of
the test. Record the water level. Maintain the water level outside the ring similar to that
inside.
vi. Continue the test until the drop in water level is the same over the same time interval.
Take readings frequently (e.g. every 90 seconds) at the beginning of the test until
45munites.

## Time Inner Infiltration capacity Infiltration Rate

t (mm) (mm) (mms)
(s)

90 90 2 0.0222
180 88 3 0.0167
270 85 1 0.0037
360 84 2 0.0056
450 82 2 0.0044
540 80 2 0.0037
630 78 1 0.0016
720 77 2 0.0027
810 75 2 0.0025
900 73 2 0.0022
990 71 1 0.0010
1080 70 3 0.0027
1170 67 2 0.0017
1260 65 1 0.0008
1350 64 2 0.0015
1440 62 2 0.0014
1530 60 2 0.0013
1620 58 2 0.0012
1710 56 1 0.0005
1800 55 1 0.0005
1890 54 0 0.0000
1980 54 0 0.0000
2070 54 0 0.0000

CALCULATION

1. 88-90 = 2 mm

2. 85-88 = 3 mm

## EXAMPLE FOR INFILTRATION RATE (mms)

1. 2 ÷ 90 = 0.0222 mms

## 2. 3 ÷ 180 = 0.0167 mms

a) Infiltration capacity versus time

## Infiltration capacity versus time

3.5

2.5
Infiltration Capacity (mm)

1.5

0.5

0
0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500

-0.5
Time (s)
b) Infiltration rate versus time

## Infiltration rate versus time

0.025

0.02

0.015
Infiltration Capacity (mm/s)

0.01

0.005

0
0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500

-0.005
Time (s)
8.0 QUESTIONS

## 2. From graph in 1(b), please identify the basic of infiltration rate.

From the graph of infiltration rate versus time, the basic of infiltration rate for this soil is wet soils.

3. Sketch a graph of infiltration rate versus time for three different characteristic of soils:

a) Dry Soil

For the dry soil, we can see that the infiltration occurred faster than other soil. This is
because, water easier to absorb to the dry soil because inside the soil, they have a lot of
void.
b) Wet Soil

For the wet soil, infiltration not too fast. It is slow than saturated soil. This is because they
already have a water inside the soil. So, the water was slowly to absorb inside the soil.

c) Saturated Soil

For the saturated soil, infiltration occurred very slowly because they have a lot of water inside
the saturated soil that wet soil.
9.0 DISCUSSION

From the experiment, we can see that the types of soils influence the infiltration rates. For
dry soils, infiltration occurred faster, water can absorb faster than wet soil and saturated soil
because inside the soil, they have a lot of void. For wet soil, infiltration occurred in modest time
between dry soil and saturated soil because they already contain water inside the soil. So, water
slowly absorb into the soil. For saturated soil, infiltration occurred very slowly because they have
a lot of water inside the saturated soil that wet soil. From the experiment, we consider that the soil
are wet, after plot a graph of infiltration rate versus time. The process of infiltration is not too fast.
So, the water was slowly to absorb inside the soil during the experiment was carried out.

10.0 CONCLUSION

As conclusion of this experiment we found that the infiltration rate is affected by the type of soil
that we used. The infiltration rate is faster in a dry soil, become slowly in a wet soil and very slowly
in a saturated soil. Therefore, the infiltration capacity was affected by the porosity of the soil and
moisture content of the soil.
REFERENCES

Books

## 3. Simon, A. L.1997. Hydraulics, pp 487-490. Prentice Hall, Inc

Internet

 http://www.connectedwater.gov.au/processes/hydrological.html