Compaction's impacts on urban storm-water infiltration

Robert Pitt, Shen En Chen, Shirley E. Clark, Janice Swenson, Choo Keong Ong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


Soil infiltration is a critical component of most urban runoff models. However, it has been well documented that, during urbanization, soils are greatly modified, especially in relation to soil density. Increased soil compaction results in soils that do not behave in a manner predicted by traditional infiltration models. Laboratory and field tests were conducted to investigate detailed infiltration behavior of disturbed urban soils for a variety of soil textures and levels of compaction. The results from traditional permeability tests on several soil groups showed that, as expected, the degree of compaction greatly affected the steady-state infiltration rate. The field tests highlighted the importance of compaction on the infiltration rate of sandy soils, with minimal effect seen from antecedent moisture conditions. For the clayey soils, however, both the compaction level and antecedent moisture conditions were important in determining the steady-state infiltration rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)652-658
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)


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