Featured in Physics
Yuli Wei, Cesare M. Cejas, Rémi Barrois, Rémi Dreyfus, and Douglas J. Durian
Phys. Rev. Applied 2, 044004 (2014) – Published 15 October 2014
Uniform rain does not penetrate homogeneously into dry sandy soil, but rather forms narrow channels that can leave much of the granular bed dry. The authors study this process in detail for both hydrophilic and hydrophobic soils, identify distinct dynamical behaviors, and demonstrate mitigation strategies that effectively improve fluid infiltration and retention. This study provides guidance for control over channeling and wetting under natural as well as artificial conditions.