ground- water, geo- statistics, environmental- engineering, earth- science

Permeameter Tests to Determine Hydraulic Conductivity

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Towards the end of my PhD I started a little new project. After I spent the last few years with rather theoretical modelling, I return to real sand. Well, not real as in natural, but at least real as in sand out of silicate.

The first thing I needed to do is to find out what the values of hydraulic conductivity of some sands are. So I did my first permeameter test in a couple of years. I was used to fairly small permeameters, which were mostly used to analyze subsamples of cores. That’s what I expected when I went down into the basement of our lab. However, this is what I encountered:


Panorama Permeameter

It was a little weird to figure out what is going on. The three columns in the middle is where the sand is emplaced. The constant head difference between the bottom and the top of each column is adjusted by varying the hight of the silver tanks mounted to the wall (one to the left of the columns, two to the right of the columns). The three columns are communicating vessels.

The system converted to a systematic sketch for one column looks simpler and depicts a classic Darcy experiment:

Sketch Darcy Permeameter Test

In the following image I added the water tanks that cause the constant difference in hydraulic head with the two rectangles on the right and the elevation of water in the pipes corresponding to the three outlets of the permeameter.

The fun part is, the thing work, I got three very similar measurements. Now I’m off to measuring more sands… I’ll keep you posted!


Written by Claus

February 19th, 2011 at 3:35 pm

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