Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Committee Member

James Cardle

Number of Pages



The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of two unsaturated flow models in and regions. The area selected for the study was the Area 5 Radioactive Waste Management Site (RWMS) at the Nevada Test Site in Nye County, Nevada. The two models selected for this evaluation were HYDRUS-1D [Simunek et al., 1998] and the SHAW model [Flerchinger and Saxton, 1989]. Approximately 5 years of soil-water and atmospheric data collected from an instrumented weighing lysimeter site near the RWMS were used for building the models with actual initial and boundary conditions representative of the site. Physical processes affecting the site and model performance were explored. Model performance was based on a detailed sensitivity analysis and ultimately on storage comparisons. During the process of developing descriptive model input, procedures for converting hydraulic parameters for each model were explored. In addition, the compilation of atmospheric data collected at the site became a useful tool for developing predictive functions for future studies. The final model results were used to evaluate the capacities of the HYDRUS and SHAW models for predicting soil-moisture movement and variable surface phenomena for bare soil conditions in the and vadose zone. The development of calibrated models along with the atmospheric and soil data collected at the site provide useful information for predicting future site performance at the RWMS.


Arid; Climate; Evaluation; Flow; Models; Unsaturated

Controlled Subject

Hydrology; Civil engineering; Environmental sciences

File Format


File Size

2611.2 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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