Saturated hydraulic conductivity is one of the most important soil hydrophysical characteristics. Its determination is needed for many different applications and it is a key parameter for solutions in soil physics, hydrogeology, environmental protection, soil and groundwater protection against pollution, soil reclamation, irrigation and drainage for agricultural and non-agricultural purposes, landfill foundation, sport surfaces, etc.
It is also one of the main input parameters for models simulating transport of water and solutes through the soil profile.
The soils can be classified according to the scale described in Tab 1.
Tab 1. Soil classification table based on values of saturated hydraulic conductivity K (according to the formerly valid Czech standard
|Soil (according the relative permeability)||Approximate range of saturated hydraulic conductivity (m s-1)||Examples of soil types|
|Highly impermeable||< 10-10||clays with low and medium plasticity, clays with high and extremely high plasticity|
|Impermeable||from 10-8 to 10-10||gravel loams, gravel clays and sandy clays, loams with low and medium plasticity|
|Lowly (poorly) permeable||from 10-6 to 10-8||sandy loams, loamy sands and clayey sands, loamy gravels and clayey gravels|
|Permeable||from 10-4 to 10-6||sands and gravels , containing fine-grained fraction
(5 – 15 %)
|Highly permeable||> 10-4||sands and gravels without or with very low fine grained fraction (<5%)|
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