Luckner et al.  (hereinafter LVN) present a clear summary and generalization of popular formulations used for convenient representation of porous media fluid flow characteristics, including water content (θ) related to suction (h) and hydraulic conductivity (K) related to θ or h. One essential but problematic element in the LVN models is the concept of residual water content (θr; in LVN, θw,r). Most studies using θr determine its value as a fitted parameter and make the assumption that liquid flow processes are negligible at θ values less than θr. While the LVN paper contributes a valuable discussion of the nature of θr, it leaves several problems unresolved, including fundamental difficulties in associating a definite physical condition with θr, practical inadequacies of the models at low θ values, and difficulties in designating a main wetting curve.
|Title||Comment on the treatment of residual water content in “A consistent set of parametric models for the two-phase flow of immiscible fluids in the subsurface” by L. Luckner et al.|
|Authors||John R. Nimmo|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Water Resources Research|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Toxic Substances Hydrology Program|