Skip to main content

Numerical Analysis of Infiltration in One-Dimensional Unsaturated Soil–Geotextile Column

A Correction to this article was published on 17 June 2022

This article has been updated


Numerical modelling development for capillary barrier investigation considering unsaturated soil–geotextile interface has been studied and evaluated in recent years. Most engineering constructions involving geomaterials and geotextiles application, such as reinforced walls, slopes, embankments, and roads, require understanding the hydraulic performance of those systems for design purposes (capillary barrier, drainage, filtration, etc.). Considering that the hydraulic behavior of those materials is directly dependent on their saturated–unsaturated state over time, unsaturated principles should be applied for their long-term evaluation. This paper presents a 1D (one-dimensional) numerical analysis of an unsaturated system composed of soil and gravel layers separated by a geotextile in a column laterally impermeable (2.0 m). A non-woven geotextile was applied considering different soil types from the literature, such as silty sand, sandy, compacted residual silty, bimodal, and compacted residual sandy soils. A SEEP/W finite element numerical model was developed to perform transient analyses through the system to evaluate its hydraulic performance in terms of capillary barrier formation considering different geomaterials combinations in different hydraulic conditions. A significant influence of geotextile hydraulic conductivity and water flow rate were verified on the capillary barrier effect. Also noticed were the different height and duration of capillary barrier formation for different soil profiles. A design chart-table was proposed to evaluate soil–geotextile performance in terms of capillary barrier for new geotechnical designs. Finally, it could be inferred that fine-grained soils demonstrated to develop higher and longer water column (positive pore pressure) compared to coarse-grained soils, independently of their initial suction.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11
Fig. 12

Data Availability

The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request. All data generated or analysed during this study are included in this published article. Some of the data analysed during this study is properly cited in the manuscript and referenced in the References section.

Change history


Download references


The authors thank the financial support by the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES), the Brazilian National Council of Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) and the State of São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP).


This research was supported by Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior - Brasil (CAPES) - Finance Code 001, the Brazilian National Council of Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) and the State of São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to A. T. Siacara.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no known competing relevant financial or non-financial interests to disclose.  

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Castro, G.B., Siacara, A.T., Nardelli, A. et al. Numerical Analysis of Infiltration in One-Dimensional Unsaturated Soil–Geotextile Column. Geotech Geol Eng 40, 4121–4144 (2022).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: