Acta Geophysica

, Volume 67, Issue 3, pp 863–877 | Cite as

A critical evaluation of the variability induced by different mathematical equations on hydraulic conductivity determination using disc infiltrometer

  • Biplab Ghosh
  • Sreeja PekkatEmail author
Research Article - Hydrology


Infiltration measurements are mandatory input for hydrological modelling. Disc infiltrometer is used for determining infiltration in the field by allowing three-dimensional flow of water under the negative head at the surface. There are steady-state and transient mathematical equations for obtaining hydraulic characteristics based on disc infiltrometer measurements. Different assumptions and formulations adopted by these equations may induce analysis-dependent variability in hydraulic parameter determination from the disc infiltrometer measurements. In this study, a critical evaluation of nine mathematical equations used for determining near-surface saturated hydraulic conductivity based on mini-disc infiltrometer (MDI) measurements in the field for two different seasons is carried out. The saturated hydraulic conductivity determined by Guelph permeameter was used as the reference for evaluating the appropriateness of equations considered in this study. Considering different statistical procedures, Wooding–Gardner, Weir’s Refinement, van Genuchten Zhang, Ankeny, and Haverkamp equations identified by Bland–Altman plot are recommended as the most reliable mathematical equations that can be used for analysing MDI measurements. The appropriateness of the mathematical equation for MDI analysis with respect to soil type needs to be investigated further.


Infiltration Disc infiltrometer Guelph permeameter Hydraulic conductivity Critical evaluation 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences & Polish Academy of Sciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology GuwahatiGuwahatiIndia

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