Analysis of the effect of impermeability of urban soils on the infiltration of rainwater in the city of Recife, PE

  • Marco Aurelio Calixto Ribeiro de Holanda Universidade de Pernambuco (UPE), Recife, PE, Brasil Escola Politécnica de Pernambuco (POLI).
  • Willames de Albuquerque Soares Universidade de Pernambuco (UPE), Recife, PE, Brasil Escola Politécnica de Pernambuco (POLI).
Keywords: Hydrus-1D, infiltrability, soil hydrodynamics


The process of urbanization interferes in the elements of the hydrological cycle, altering the infiltration, flow, and evaporation of rainwater. Several methods and tests exist for analyzing this hydrological cycle that aim to hydrodynamically characterize the soil of a locality. However, the collection and field trials can be expensive and time consuming. Because of these high costs, it is important to look for methods that save time and money. One such method is to perform simulations of water flow in the soil, using computational models such as Hydrus 1-D, in order to explain the water balance of a region. The results of these simulations showed that 355.18 mm.m-2 of the total 385.02 mm.m-2 of precipitation was able to infiltrate, indicating that the soil of the region has a high infiltration capacity, due to its high sand content. However, of the 228,000 m2 studied, only 38,760 m2 are unpaved soil. This shows that the soil at the location studied would be able to infiltrate most rainwater without the occurrence of flooding, if more than only 17% of the land area were permeable soil. This conclusion can be extrapolated to other areas surrounding this neighborhood and to other large urban centers, which have similar characteristics.