We are happy to have another paper accepted in the special section Nonuniform Flow across Vadose Zone Scales of the Vadose Zone Journal.
The accepted paper can be found here:
„First Look paper“ (doi: 10.2136/vzj2018.08.0159)
Unsaturated flows in fractures exhibit a variety of complex flow phenomena which require sophisticated modeling tools. In this work we simulate infiltration dynamics in smooth and rough fractures using a heavily parallelized smoothed particle hydrodynamics code. The formation of instabilities is shown to depend on the degree of roughness and correlations between specific discharge and normalized finger velocity as well as relationships between fingertip length and scaled finger velocity are shown to agree with established analytical solution and laboratory experiments. While the dispersive behavior, i.e., the likelihood of flow convergence or branching in fracture networks or individual fractures is far from being fully understood, we hope to provide an efficient numerical tool for this type of problem and enhance our understanding of these systems.