Date of Award

Spring 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil & Environmental Engineering

Committee Director

Isao Ishibashi

Committee Member

Mujde Erten-Unal

Committee Member

Jaewan Yoon

Committee Member

Rich Whittecar


This study seeks to investigate a problem of predicting the hydraulic conductivity of NAPLs in partially saturated soils and to relate the hydraulic conductivity to basic soil parameters that are either easy to determine or are in wide use. To evaluate hydraulic conductivity in partially saturated soils, previous researchers have focused on flow geometry, soil and chemical properties, etc. used in CHEMFLO program by Nofziger et al., (1989) and saturation equations by such authors as Van Genutchen (1980) and Brooks and Corey (1964). Among those, the soil-water characteristic curve (SWCC) is the most widely used constitutive relations for unsaturated soils (Claudia, et al. 2000). It uses matric suction to relate to fluid flow characteristics of unsaturated soils. However, the authors concluded that even the most experienced researchers have difficulties in getting a unique SWCC for a soil and that soil suction and SWCCs cannot be simply measured with great precision at the present time. Hillel (1998) stated that there is as yet no universally accepted method available to predict unsaturated hydraulic conductivity from more easily obtainable soil properties.


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