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

Minidisk Infiltrometer

The Mini Disk Infiltrometer is ideal for field measurements; due to its compact size, the water needed to operate it can easily be carried in a personal water bottle. It is also practical for lab and classroom use, in demonstrating basic concepts of soil hydraulic conductivity.

Mini-disk Infiltrometers provide quick and convenient measurement of soil hydraulic conductivity. The infiltrometer is constructed of a polycarbonate tube with a semi-permeable stainless steel sintered disk. An adjustable steel tube is installed above the sample chamber to regulate the suction rate. The infiltrometers are ideal for soil hydrology studies, classroom instruction, and many other applications that rely on accurate measurement of hydraulic conductivity. The suction rate can be adjusted to accommodate measurement of any soil type.

Mini-disk Tension Infiltrometer Features
Water movement in soil is spatially variable. The Mini Disk Infiltrometer is a quick way to test unsaturated hydraulic conductivity and infiltration rates.

Small, compact, and simple, the Mini Disk Infiltrometer is a true field instrument. It can be tossed into a backpack with a bottle of water. Adjustable suction and a porous stainless steel contact plate assure a reliable soil unsaturated hydraulic conductivity measurement.

Just fill the reservoir, set the suction, and start measuring infiltration. You don’t have to pre-saturate the disk.

Enter the infiltration and elapsed time data in the included spreadsheet calculator to find unsaturated hydraulic conductivity.

Both scientists and technicians have used the Mini Disk Infiltrometer to design irrigation systems, demonstrate hydraulic conductivity, evaluate erosion hazard, and gauge the impact of forest fires. It’s ideal for irrigation system design, classroom instruction, erosion hazard evaluation, burn severity studies, and many other applications.


Total Length: 32.7 cm
Diameter of Tube: 3.1 cm
Volume of Water Required to Operate: 135 ml
Sintered Stainless Steel Disc: 4.5 cm diameter, 3 mm thick
Length of Water Reservoir: 21.2 cm
Length of Suction Regulation Tube: 10.2 cm
Length of Mariotte Tube: 28 cm
Suction Range: 0.5 to 7 cm of suction


The upper and lower chambers of the infiltrometer are both filled with water. The top chamber (or bubble chamber) controls the suction. The lower chamber contains a volume of water that infiltrates into the soil at a rate determined by the suction selected in the bubble chamber. The lower chamber is labelled like a graduated cylinder, with volume shown in ml. The bottom of the infiltrometer has a porous sintered stainless steel disk which will not allow water to leak in open air. The small diameter of the disk allows for undisturbed measurements on relatively level soil surfaces.

Once you place the infiltrometer on a soil, water begins to leave the lower chamber and infiltrate into the soil at a rate determined by the hydraulic properties of the soil. As the water level drops, you record the volume at specific time intervals (like every 30 seconds for a silt loam soil). You can then plot this data using the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to calculate the hydraulic conductivity.