Germann (2021) Misconceptions of unsaturated infiltration

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Germann, P. F.: HESS Opinions: Unsaturated infiltration – the need for a reconsideration of historical misconceptions, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 25, 1097–1101,, 2021.


Briggs (1897) deduced capillary flow from deviation of the equilibrium between capillarity and gravity. Richards (1931) raised capillary flow to an unproven soil hydrological dogma. Attempts to correct the dogma led to concepts of non-equilibrium flow, macropore flow, and preferential flow during infiltration. Viscous film flow is proposed as an alternative approach to capillarity-driven flow during unsaturated infiltration.



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