Drying front in a sloping aquifier: nonlinear effects
Stagnitti, Frank, Li, Ling, Parlange, J.-Yves, Brutsaert, Wilfried, Lockington, David A., Steenhuis, Tammo S., Parlange, Marc B., Barry, D. A. and Hogarth, William L. 2004, Drying front in a sloping aquifier: nonlinear effects, Water resources research, vol. 40, pp. 1-6.
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The profiles for the water table height h(x, t) in a shallow sloping aquifer are reexamined with a solution of the nonlinear Boussinesq equation. We demonstrate that the previous anomaly first reported by Brutsaert  that the point at which the water table h first becomes zero at x = L at time t = t c remains fixed at this point for all times t > t c is actually a result of the linearization of the Boussinesq equation and not, as previously suggested [ Brutsaert, 1994 ; Verhoest and Troch, 2000 ], a result of the Dupuit assumption. Rather, by examination of the nonlinear Boussinesq equation the drying front, i.e., the point x f at which h is zero for times t ≥ t c , actually recedes downslope as physically expected. This points out that the linear Boussinesq equation should be used carefully when a zero depth is obtained as the concept of an “average” depth loses meaning at that time.
Field of Research
050305 Soil Physics
Socio Economic Objective
970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
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