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By Daniel Hillel (Auth.)

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T o apply Darcy's law to the motion of water relative to the moving soil matrix (rather than to fixed space), the equation had to be recast in terms of a material coordinate system anchored to the matrix. A n interesting prediction of the theory, later verified experimentally (Smiles, 1974), is that during infiltration into a swelling soil the relative importance of gravity is reduced, and the absorption phase is prolonged, in comparison with infiltration into a rigid soil. Thus, cumulative infiltration into a swelling soil can remain proportional to the square root of time for m a n y hours, even days.

Dashed lines—drainage without evaporation; solid l i n e s simultaneous drainage and evaporation. ) Results obtained by numerical solution of the equation for the conditions shown (Hillel and van Bavel, 1976) are illustrated for soils of different textures in Fig.

As pointed out by Rubin (1966), the rainpond infiltration curves are of the same general shape and approach the same limiting infiltration rate, but they do not constitute horizontally displaced parts of a single curve and do not coincide with the infiltration rate under flooding, which is shown as a broken line in the same graph. A rainstorm of any considerable duration typically consists of spurts of high-intensity rain punctuated by periods of low-intensity rain. During such respite periods, surface soil moisture tends to decrease because of internal drainage, thus reestablishing a somewhat higher infiltrability.

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