Development of an Infiltration-Drainage Model for Saturated and Unsaturated Soils


It has long been recognized that excess moisture in the pavement layer when combined with heavy traffic load and moisture-susceptible materials, can significantly reduce the service life of a pavement structure. So far, no pavement design guidelines can provide an accurate, robust, and dynamic infiltration-drainage model that is suitable for both saturated and unsaturated soils under different climatic conditions. This paper aims at proposing a new infiltration-drainage model that is suitable for both saturated and unsaturated soils. The proposed model is based upon Richards' equation to govern the water flow in saturated and unsaturated soils, with an additional water source term to account for the influence of precipitation and the current water state within the soil. The calibrated model was used to evaluate the influence of rainfall intensity and duration on the drainage performance of a pavement structure.

Meeting Name

Geo-Congress 2020: Modeling, Geomaterials, and Site Characterization (2020: Feb. 25-28, Minneapolis, MN)


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Center for Research in Energy and Environment (CREE)

Keywords and Phrases

Drainage; Earthquake Engineering; Flow of Water; Geotechnical Engineering; Moisture; Pavements; Soils; Structural Design, Calibrated Model; Climatic Conditions; Drainage Performance; Heavy Traffic Load; Pavement Structures; Rainfall Intensity; Richards 'equation; Saturated and Unsaturated Soils, Infiltration

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2020 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Feb 2020