An unstable wetting front begins as a horizontal front which under certain conditions breaks into fingers as it moves downward. These fingers facilitate the transport of contaminants to the groundwater at velocities that are many times those of stablehorizontal fronts. The conditions under which fingered flow evolves in field soils are not yet understood, because systematic investigations have been rare. In this study, evidence is given of finger formation during individual rain events in a water-repellent sandy field soil. Additionally, three-dimensional visualizations of fingered flow and water repellency patterns are presented.
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