L. Newman M.Sc. Research
Lori's M.Sc. thesis focused on the mechanisms for preferential water flow in non horizontal layered soil profiles. The work showed how infiltration rates and soil unsaturated conductivity controls if the water flows through the coarse or fine layers. This has direct implications to understanding mine acid generation, soil cover systems, natural and engineered drainage systems.
Experiment showing uniform surface infiltration applied to vertical layers of fine and coarse soils. Depending on infiltration rate, the water could flow all through the coarse or fine material.
The hydraulic conductivity of the soil layers as they relate to each other and infiltration rates above, controls the pressure state that will develop, and in turn, where the water will flow.
If the infiltration rate is less than the saturated conductivity of the finer grained material, it is likely the water will flow mostly in the finer grained layers.