Dimensionless Numerical Approach to Perched Waters in 2D Gradually Layered Soils

  • Stefano BarontiniEmail author
  • Marco Peli
  • Thom A. Bogaard
  • Roberto Ranzi


Aiming at better understanding the processes involved in perched water tables onset and in their development, the case of a soil slope characterised by gradually decreasing hydraulic conductivity at saturation with depth was numerically investigated. Different anisotropy factors and steepness values were accounted for. The problem was led to a dimensionless form on the basis of the Buckingham π-theorem. Coherently with a theoretical solution of the 2D sloping case, the simulations evidenced (a) non-monotonic transverse profiles of the pressure head within the perched water, (b) slightly lower infiltration thresholds for perched water onset and for soil waterlogging, with respect to the 1D case. If the slope is long enough, an almost uniform flux can be observed in a branch of its central part.


Perched water table Soil slope stability 2D modelling 



The work was partly founded in the framework of European FP7 Project KULTURisk (Grant Agreement n.265280).


  1. Barontini S, Ranzi R (2010) Su alcune caratteristiche delle falde pensili in suoli gradualmente vari. In: Proceedings of 32nd congress of hydraulics and hydraulic structures, Palermo, 14–17 Sept 2010, pp 10Google Scholar
  2. Barontini S, Clerici A, Ranzi R, Bacchi B (2005) Saturated hydraulic conductivity and water retention relationships for Alpine mountain soils. In: De Jong C, Collins D, Ranzi R (eds) Climate and hydrology of mountain areas. Wiley, Chichester, pp 101–122Google Scholar
  3. Barontini S, Ranzi R, Bacchi B (2007) Water dynamics in a gradually non-homogeneous soil described by the linearized Richards equation. Water Resour Res 43. ISSN: 0043-1397Google Scholar
  4. Barontini S, Peli M, Bakker M, Bogaard TA, Ranzi R (2011) Perched waters in 1D and sloping 2D gradually layered soils. First numerical results. Submitted to the XXth Congress of AIMETA, BolognaGoogle Scholar
  5. Beven KJ (1984) Infiltration into a class of vertically non-uniform soils. Hydrol Sci J – Journal des Science Hydrologique Bulletin 24:43–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Corey GL, Corey AT, Brooks RH (1965) Similitude for non-steady drainage of partially saturated soils. Hydrology papers. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, 39pGoogle Scholar
  7. Kirkby M (1969) Infiltration, throughflow and overland flow. In: Chorley R (ed) Water, Earth and man. Taylor & Francis, Kirkby, pp 215–227Google Scholar
  8. Leverett MC, Lewis WB, True ME (1942) Dimensional-model studies of oil-field behavior. Trans Am Inst Min Met Eng Petroleum Div 146:175–193Google Scholar
  9. Simunek J, Sejna M, van Genuchten MT (1999) The Hydrus-2D software package for simulating two-dimensional movement of water, heat, and multiple solutes in variably saturated media. Version 2.0. IGWMC – TPS – 53. International Ground Water Modeling Center, Colorado School of Mines. Golden, 251pGoogle Scholar
  10. Van Asch Th WJ, Van Beek LPH, Bogaard TA (2009) The diversity in hydrological triggering systems of landslides. In: Picarelli L, Tommasi P, Urciuoli G, Versace P (eds) Rainfall-induced landslides. Mechanisms, monitoring techniques and nowcasting models for early warning systems. Proceedings of the 1st Italian workshop on landslides, vol 1, NapoliGoogle Scholar
  11. Zaslavsky D (1964) Theory of unsaturated flow into a non-uniform soil profile. Soil Sci 97(6):400–410CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefano Barontini
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marco Peli
    • 1
  • Thom A. Bogaard
    • 2
  • Roberto Ranzi
    • 1
  1. 1.DICATAUniversity of BresciaBresciaItaly
  2. 2.CiTGDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations