Air Compressibility Effect on Bouwer and Rice Seepage Meter
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Measuring a disconnected streambed seepage flux using a seepage meter can give important streambed information and help understanding groundwater-surface water interaction. In this study, we provide a correction for calculating the seepage flux rate with the consideration of air compressibility inside the manometer of the Bouwer and Rice seepage meter. We notice that the effect of air compressibility in the manometer is considerably larger when more air is included in the manometer. We find that the relative error from neglecting air compressibility can be constrained within 5% if the manometer of the Bouwer and Rice seepage meter is shorter than 0.8 m and the experiment is done in a suction mode in which air is pumped out from the manometer before the start of measurement. For manometers longer than 0.8 m, the relative error will be larger than 5%. It may be over 10% if the manometer height is longer than 1.5 m and the experiment is done in a no-suction mode, in which air is not pumped out from the manometer before the start of measurement.
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