The understanding of local characteristics within the global behavior of catchment dynamics is an important concern to both theorists and field hydrologists. The law of averages, when applied to local infiltration behavior, often fails to render representative information as to the nonlinear response of a catchment due to runoff thresholds, feedback with soil moisture, and infiltration hysteresis. As an alternative to current conceptual approaches, this paper analyzes the bifurcation (nonlinear) behavior of point infiltration using the equation of unsaturated flow. The result is a geometric framework in which the relationships between rainfall, infiltration, and soil properties are better understood. By using standard experimental data a nonlinear infiltration model can be easily parameterized that exhibits bifurcations in bulk infiltration rates.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Water Science and Technology