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Terra Latinoamericana

versão On-line ISSN 2395-8030versão impressa ISSN 0187-5779


GOMEZ-TAGLE CHAVEZ, Alberto; GUTIERREZ GNECCHI, José Antonio  e  ZEPEDA CASTRO, Hugo. Automation device for a Mariotte based field infiltrometer. Terra Latinoam [online]. 2010, vol.28, n.3, pp.193-202. ISSN 2395-8030.

Infiltration is the process in which water flows from the surface of a porous medium into its interior. Studying this process from a direct measurement perspective is highly demanding in terms of time and economic resources, because data recording must be done in time intervals of one to five minutes within lapses ranging from 0.5 to 4 hours. In this paper we present an electronic device capable of increasing the amount of data acquired per time unit, reducing direct time investment. The device consist of an automation unit capable of measuring the height of a water column by means of a differential pressure sensor (MPX2010DP) with a signal conditioning and constant delivery of energy circuit as well as a non volatile programmable USB memory as logger. The automation unit was coupled to a constant head single ring infiltrometer. The automated infiltrometer had a measurement error of 0.2 cm for a range of 0 to 85 cm. Its performance was evaluated in four different soil formations with contrasting textures in the Cuitzeo watershed. Saturated hydraulic conductivity was calculated using the Wu method (Wu et al., 1999) from data acquired automatically. There were no statistical differences between the results from data calculated automatically and those from data calculated manually. Nevertheless, we found consistent reduction in standard deviation for the automated method. The automation unit presented here allowed the acquisition of infiltration data useful in the estimation of hydraulic properties with minimal supervision.

Palavras-chave : differential pressure sensor; single ring infiltrometer; hydraulic conductivity; infiltration; datalogger.

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