Superposition principle for short-term solutions of Richards' equation: Application to the interaction of wetting fronts with an impervious surface

J-Y Parlange, W. L. Hogarth, Rafael Chacon Fuentes, J. Sprintall, R. Haverkamp, D. Elrick, M. B. Parlange, R. D. Braddock, David Anthony Lockington

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The interaction of a wetting front with an impervious layer is described by adding a reflected solution to the incoming solution for a semi-infinite medium. It is shown and checked by comparison with a numerical solution that the result is accurate during the early times of the interaction between the front and the impervious surface. This superposition principle is quite general and should prove especially useful to initiate numerical schemes by this analytical approximation as in the early times singularities are difficult to describe numerically.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-247
Number of pages9
JournalTransport in Porous Media
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • impervious surface
  • Infiltration
  • layered soils
  • superposition of solutions

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