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Enabling better global research outcomes in soil, plant & environmental monitoring.

SATURO Infiltrometer

The SATURO Infiltrometer from Meter is an alternative to the Double Ring Infiltrometer, able to provide accurate measurements of hydraulic conductivity and the hydraulic properties of soil.

Get more out of every field visit

Saturated hydraulic conductivity is a pain to measure in the field. And the field measurement is only the beginning. When you get back to the office, you need to convert the raw data into hydraulic conductivity and infiltration rates.

We think you should spend less time on complex measurement processes and more time being productive. That’s why we automated almost everything in the new SATURO.

Set it up, and leave

The SATURO Infiltrometer does almost everything for you. It’s fully automated and doesn’t require post-processing of data. Install the ring, connect the hoses, and push “start”.  It’s that simple.

The infiltrometer automatically measures infiltration rates, and the control unit calculates saturated hydraulic conductivity (Kfs) on the fly. That means if you need a value right away, it’s there. If you want to dig deeper, you can always download the raw data.

One person can do everything

Unlike double ring systems, the SATURO is designed for one person to carry and set up. And, you can run multiple instruments simultaneously, allowing you to maximise the efficiency of your time in the field.

Eliminate guessing

Water flows through soil in three dimensions. In the early days, it was difficult to solve three-dimensional equations. Infiltrometers were created to try and force water to flow in one dimension and required the use of estimated parameters to get reasonable hydraulic conductivity values.

Thanks to some mathematical magic, single ring measurements are now possible, making the whole process simpler and more efficient. The best part is, you don’t have to rely on any dubious assumptions.

A simple, precise solution

The SATURO combines automation and simplified data analysis together in one system. It even computes infiltration rates and saturated hydraulic conductivity on the fly. The SATURO makes life a little easier for those who need a faster, more accurate way to measure Kfs in the field.

How Does It Work?

Pound a ring into the soil, seal on the Infiltrometer Head, and connect the hoses to the control unit. Set up the test.

The Infiltrometer will pond water on top of the soil and use air pressure to create two different pressure heads. It will automatically maintain the correct water levels and will measure infiltration rates through two complete pressure cycles. The control unit collects all data and performs the calculations to determine field saturated hydraulic conductivity (Kfs).

All data can be downloaded from the control unit for further analysis.

Theory

Water flows through soil in three dimensions. In the early days of infiltrometers, it was simply impossible to solve two and three dimensional equations, so the dual ring infiltrometer was created to try to physically force water to flow in one dimension.

Now that we can do the maths, the single ring infiltrometer is an easier – and better – method. However, if you’re using a single head or a changing head, you still need to know – or guess – the “alpha factor” (soil macroscopic capillary length) to solve the equations.

Reynolds and Elrick (1990) showed that by solving the equations at two different pressure heads, alpha drops out, allowing you to determine saturated hydraulic conductivity without making any assumptions.

Infiltration rate range 0.0038 cm/hr to 115 cm/hr
Infiltration rate resolution 0.0038 cm/hr
Infiltration rate accuracy ±5 % of reading
Kfs The range of Kfs values that can be effectively measured by SATURO are limited by the minimum and maximum infiltration rates listed above. These depend on the pressure heads applied to the water during infiltration and to the three-dimensional flow characteristics of the soil, so the measurement range of Kfs cannot be specified explicitly. SATURO will generally be able to make measurements on poorly to moderately structured soils as coarse as medium sand, but the maximum infiltration rate can be exceeded by soils with excessive structure and especially by soils with significant macropores.
Water level Maintained at 5 cm
Pressure head ranges 0 to 40 cm
Operating temperature 0 to 50 °C
Charging adapter 18 V 2.2 Amps; Range 18 to 24 V DC Output: USB