Critical conditions for the wetting of soils

Shirtcliffe, Neil, McHale, Glen, Newton, Michael, Pyatt, F. Brian and Doerr, Stefan (2006) Critical conditions for the wetting of soils. Applied Physics Letters, 89 (9). 094101. ISSN 0003-6951

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The wettability of soil is of great importance for plants and soil biota and in determining whether flooding and soil erosion will occur. The analysis used in common measurements of soil hydrophobicity makes the assumption that water always enters soils if the average contact angle between the soil and water is 90 degrees or lower; these tests have been used for decades. The authors show theoretically and experimentally that water cannot enter many soils unless the contact angle is considerably lower than this, down to approximately 50 degrees. This difference generates serious errors in determining and modeling soil wetting behavior.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: soil, water repellent, hydrophobic, granular, wattability, porous
Subjects: F200 Materials Science
F300 Physics
F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Depositing User: Glen McHale
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2012 11:01
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2017 20:46

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