Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Plant Science

First Advisor

Robert A. Kohl

Second Advisor

Maurice Horton


The infiltration of water into soil has been studied for more than 50 years. Much of the effort has concentrated on obtaining infiltration rate measurements for different soils and on developing equations which describe the resulting data. A portion of the infiltration literature has dealt with the large affect that the development of a surface seal has had on the resulting infiltration measurement of a soil. This surface seal may be more significant in determining the infiltration characteristics of a soil than any other single or perhaps combination of factors. Surface seal development has been linked to both rainfall energy and intensity as well as soil aggregate stability. However, quantitative relationships between these parameters have not been reported in the literature. Therefore, this study was established to investigate the relationship between rainfall kinetic energy and infiltration into a bare soil surface and to study the development of a surface seal during the application of the rainfall with different intensities. The objectives of this study were: 1. To describe the effects of rainfall kinetic energy level on infiltration. 2. To determine the effects of rainfall energy on the time to runoff and time to infiltrate 50 mm of water. 3. To measure the effect of rainfall intensities on the rate of seal development and the final infiltration rate. 4. To investigate the effect of stopping periods on the infiltration rate. 5. To analyze the field data by a theoretical approach using a modified Green-Ampt model and to determine the rainfall sealing energy.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Soil absorption and adsorption
Soil permeability
Soil consolidation
Rainfall intensity duration frequencies


Includes bibliographical references (pages 97-102)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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