Item: Measuring the water retention curve of snow
Title: Measuring the water retention curve of snow
Proceedings: International Snow Science Workshop, Davos 2009, Proceedings
Authors: Satoru Yamaguchi, Takafumi Katsuhima, Atsushi Sato and Toshiro Kumakura, Snow and Ice Research Center, National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention, Japan. Nagaoka University of Technology, Japan
Abstract: The water retention curve (WRC), which shows the relationship between the volumetric water content and matric potential, is a fundamental part of the characterisation of hydraulic properties. Therefore, the formulation of the WRC as a function of snow characteristics is essential for establishing a model of water movement through snow cover. In this study, we measured the WRC of granular snow (550 kg m-3) of various grain sizes in gravity drainage column experiments. Our experiments revealed many similarities between the WRC of snow and that of sand. Consequently, to analyze the WRC of snow, we applied the van Genuchten model (VG model), which is a standard model in soil analysis, to the WRC of snow. Two parameters in the VG model that determine the form of the WRC have a strong relationship with sample grain size. Our results suggest that the WRC of snow can be described as a function of grain size using the VG model.
Keywords: water retention curve, water transportation, van genuchten model
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