Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Agricultural Engineering


The first agricultural crops were grown in open areas that required minimum labor to prepare the soil for tillage. As other settlers followed, trees were cleared from the forested areas to open additional land to cultivation. The rocks and stones were removed from the fields to facilitate farming operations. There are different factors that need to be considered in the design of a drainage system, such as the permeability of the soil, the rainfall pattern and the crop rotation. The most important is the permeability of the soil profile. A knowledge of the permeability of the soil is often considered in the design of hillside terraces. This information is used to determine the quantity of water which would pass through the soil profile for different rainfall frequencies. After the consideration of other design factors, the terrace pattern can be constructed to hold the excess rainfall. Past experience has pointed to the fact that many so8ils in arid and semiarid climate must be drained when irrigated. The fluid flow characteristics of the soil are considered during the selection of the site for a farm pond or the location of a proposed irrigation canal. The quantity of the seepage through the soil profile at each proposed site is a problem involving the permeability of the soil. A porous medium may be penetrated by a fluid that is either in the liquid or gaseous state. The permeating fluid is water for the majority of in situ measurements. The results are expressed as the hydraulic conductivity of the solid. The purpose of this study was to develop a successful procedure for the determination of the intrinsic permeability of in situ soil be using aired as the permeating fluid. Furthermore, it was proposed that after the flow characteristics were obtained by air, a method would be presented for the solution of problems which involved the movement of water through the soil profile.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Soil percolation


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University