Monday, May 18, 2015

Bimodal pore size distribution and hillslope stability

This post is to highlight the work of Fabio Ciervo, a Ph.D. student of Mariolina Papa that I co-advised with Vincente Medina. His thesis had the merit to put together two nice aspects of the recent research on soils. The first came from the work of Nunzio Romano [1] and co-workers, who show consistently that many soils present a bi-modal distribution in porosity, with effects in the form of the soil-water-retention curves (SWRC), and hydraulic conductivity, once Burdine or Mualem's [2] theory is applied. The other is the novel theory of hillslope stability coming out from the joint work of Lu, Likos, and Godt (e.g. [3]).

Who wants to enjoy his thesis can find it here: Fabio Ciervo, Modeling hydrologic response of structured soil, University of Salerno, 2015.
The code, developed in Java, that solves Richards 1D equation using these bimodal SWRC can instead be found on Github.
The Thesis produced a first paper which is under review in Vadose Zone Hydrology Journal.

Some References (others in the Dissertation)

[1] -Romano, N., Nasta, P., Severino, P., and Hopmans, J.W., Using bimodal lognormal function to descrivbe soil hydraulic properties, Soil. Sci. Soc. Am. J.,  75(2), 468-480, 2011

[2] - Roth, K., Soil PhysicsInstitute of Environmental Physics, Heidelberg University,
D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany, 2012

[2] - Lu, N., and Godt, J., Hillslope hydrology and stability, Cambridge University Press, 2013

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