An automated disc infiltrometer for infiltration rate measurements using a microflowmeter
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This work presents a new design of disc infiltrometer, which, associated with a microflowmeter (MF) and a solenoid valve set, makes it possible to automate the infiltration rate (Q) measurements at different soil pressure heads ( ). The MF consists of a 13Ð8-cm long and 1Ð5 mm i.d. pipe, with a pressure transducer connecting the two ends of the MF, inserted in a water-flow pipe that connects the Mariotte tube and the water-supply reservoir of the disc infiltrometer. Water flow is calculated from the head losses in the MF. Changes in ψ in the bubble tower, automatically affected when the infiltration rate reaches steady state, are controlled by a datalogger connected to four solenoid valves. The new design was tested in laboratory and field conditions, and the results showed that the MF allows the soil water infiltration rates to be correctly estimated for different soil characteristics. The solenoid valve set plus datalogger system satisfactorily monitored the changes in and allowed the measurement time to be optimized.