KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering

, Volume 23, Issue 12, pp 5226–5234 | Cite as

Prediction of Soil Hydraulic Conductivity at Saturation using Air Permeability at Any Individual Soil Water Content

  • Mehdi RahmatiEmail author
  • Mohammad Reza Neyshaboury
  • Panah Mohammadi
Water Resources and Hydrologic Engineering


Several studies aimed at linking hydraulic conductivity at saturation (Kw,s) to air permeability (Ka(θw)) of soil at given water content (θw) since it can be measured more rapidly and nondestructively than Kw,s especially regarding some new in situ technologies for Ka(θw) measurement. Following this, the current research aimed to develop a semi-theoretical relation between Kw,s and Ka(θw) using measured data in 27 soil samples. The Ka(θw) was measured at 12 different θw contents between 1.5 to 1,500 kPa suctions. Applying these measured data, we proposed a semi-theoretical function to predict Kw,s using Ka(θw) as input variable. The results showed that the proposed function was able to predict Kw,s using Ka(θw) at any individual θw content with really high accuracy consisting of R2 = 0.986 and evaluating error (ER) of the 2% between measured and predicted Kw,s. However, the outcomes revealed that Ka(θw) measurement at lower θw contents resulted in greater accuracy for proposed model. The pertinent section of the article applied multivariate linear regression (MLR) to develop pedo-transfer functions (PTFs) to estimate the parameters of the proposed model. The results revealed that the developed PTFs had relatively greater accuracy and reliability showing average determination coefficient (R2) of 0.807 and 0.729 for training and test datasets, respectively. However, more detailed investigation with wide range of soil parameters are needed for more general PTFs development.


air permeability pedo-transfer function modeling hydraulic conductivity at saturation 


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Authors gratefully thank Dr. Farhad Mazlum for comments on a draft of this article. We also would like to thank anonymous reviewers who helped a lot to improve the manuscript with their constructive comments.


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Copyright information

© Korean Society of Civil Engineers 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept. of Soil Science and EngineeringUniversity of MaraghehMaraghehIran
  2. 2.Dept. of Soil ScienceUniversity of TabrizTabrizIran

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