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# 4.

Seepage
Soil Mechanics
2010 - 2011

Permeability

## Is a measure of how easily a fluid (water) can pass through

a porous medium (soil).

Loose Soil
High permeability

Dense Soil
Low permeability

## Dr. Manal A. Salem Soil Mechanics

Soil Permeability

Applications (examples):
1.

Water wells
a.
b.

2.

Earth dams
a.
b.

3.

Water production
Dewatering
Estimate quantity of water seeping through the dam
Evaluating stability of dam

Darcys Law

## Water moves through soil with

discharge Q, and velocity v.
Q = A.v
v i
v h/L
v = kh/L
Q = Akh/L
where:

Q = V/t

Soil

## Q = water discharge (volume/time)

A = area perpendicular to flow direction
v = velocity of flow (length/time)
L
i = hydraulic gradient = h/L
Direction of flow
L = length parallel to flow direction
k = coefficient of soil permeability

## Dr. Manal A. Salem Soil Mechanics

Coefficient of Permeability k

k=v/i

## Define k: the velocity of water flowing

through a soil medium under a unit hydraulic

Note:
flow of water through soil is governed by:
1.
2.

Soil permeability (k)

## Dr. Manal A. Salem Soil Mechanics

Bernoullis Equation
G.S.
hv1=v12/2g

Clay

hp1=u1/w

1
ht1

Water
flow

Sand

z1

Clay

h t = z + hp + h v

h
hv2=v22/2g
hp2=u2/w

ht2

z2

Datum

where:
hp = pressure head = u/w: u = pore-water pressure
hv = velocity head = v2/2g
very small in soil and may
be neglected
Dr. Manal A. Salem Soil Mechanics

Bernoullis Equation
G.S.
hv1=v12/2g

Clay

hp1=u1/w

1
ht1

Water
flow

Sand

h
2/2g

hv2=v2

hp2=u2/w

z1

ht2

z2

Clay

Datum

h t ~ z + hp
hp is determined using piezometer (later)
h = total head difference, if h = 0, no flow.

Q = Av
Can be measured.

## velocity of flow through voids.

Q = Avvs
Cant be measured, only calculated, how?

Total area
(A)

Area of voids
(Av)

## Seepage and Discharge Velocities

Q = Av = Avvs
Therefore: vs = v ( A/AV)
Multiplying both areas (A and Av) by the length of the
medium (L)
vS = v ( AL / AVL ) = v ( VT / VV )
where:
VT = total volume of sample
VV = volume of voids within sample
By Definition, Vv / VT = n, the soil porosity
Thus

vS = v/ n
Dr. Manal A. Salem Soil Mechanics

Factors affecting k

Soil type
ksand > kclay

Void ratio
kloose sand > kdense

A
sand

Particles orientation
kB > kA

Soil Structure
kflocculated > kdispersed

Type of fluid
Viscosity
,k

flocculated

dispersed

Temperature
Temperature

, Viscosity

,k
Dr. Manal A. Salem Soil Mechanics

Laboratory determination of k
1.

2.

constant

## Apply Darcys law:

Continuous
water supply

Q = Av
V/t = Akh/L
k = VL/Aht

Overflow:
Volume V in
Time t

where
V = volume of water collected
in time = t

Direction
of flow

## A = x-sectional area of soil

specimen
L = length of soil specimen

## Suitable for coarse-grained soils.

Dr. Manal A. Salem Soil Mechanics

## Coefficient of permeability (k) can

be calculated using the following
relationship:

h
Ak
ln 1 =
T
h2 La

ho
hf

where:

Overflow

## h1 = initial head difference at time = 0

h2 = final head difference at time T
a = x-sectional area of standpipe
A = x-sectional area of soil specimen

Direction of
flow

## Suitable for fine-grained soils.

Dr. Manal A. Salem Soil Mechanics

Q = A v = A k i = A.k.
Q at time dt =
From 1 and 2:

dh.a
dt
A.k.

aL dh
.
Ak h
h
T
aL f dh
dt =
Ak ho h
0
hf
aL
ln h ho
T =
Ak
h o Ak
ln h = La T
f
dt =

h
-------- (1)
L
-------- (2)

h
dh.a
=
L
dt

ho
hf
Overflow

Direction of
flow

## Limitations of permeability lab tests

Non-homogeneity of soil

Anisotropy of soil

Sampling disturbance

## Dr. Manal A. Salem Soil Mechanics

Field determination of k

Definitions:

## Aquifer: a water-bearing layer of soil with considerable

amount of water.
Confined versus unconfined aquifers.

## Dr. Manal A. Salem Soil Mechanics

Field determination of k

Definitions:

Piezometers

## Dr. Manal A. Salem Soil Mechanics

Field determination of k
1.

Aquitard

## Dr. Manal A. Salem Soil Mechanics

Field determination of k
1.

Pumping well

Aquitard

## Dr. Manal A. Salem Soil Mechanics

Field determination of k
1.

Pumping well

Aquitard

## Dr. Manal A. Salem Soil Mechanics

10

Field determination of k
1.

Pumping well

Piezometer (1)

Q
r1

r2
Piezometer (2)

## Initial water table

h2

h1
Draw down water table

h2

h1
Aquitard

## Dr. Manal A. Salem Soil Mechanics

Field determination of k
1.

## Pump water from

well at a constant rate
state (water level in
observation wells is
constant)
Field measurements:
Q, r1, r2, h1, h2,
where:
h1 = H h1
h2 = H h2

Pumping well
Initial water
table

Piezometer (1)

r2

r1

Piezometer (2)

h2

h1
Draw down water
table

h1

h2

Aquitard

Calculate k

k=

Q ln(r2 / r1 )
h22 h12
Dr. Manal A. Salem Soil Mechanics

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Field determination of k
2.

Aquitard

Aquitard

## Dr. Manal A. Salem Soil Mechanics

Field determination of k
2.

## Artesian (confined) Aquifer:

Initial piezometric
surface

Pumping well

Aquitard

## Dr. Manal A. Salem Soil Mechanics

12

Field determination of k
2.

## Artesian (confined) Aquifer:

Initial piezometric
surface

Q
Pumping well

Draw down
piezometric line

Aquitard

## Dr. Manal A. Salem Soil Mechanics

Field determination of k
2.

## Artesian (confined) Aquifer:

Initial piezometric
surface

Q
Pumping well

r1

Piezometer (1)

r2

Piezometer (2)

h2

h1
Draw down
piezometric line

h1

h2

Aquitard

## Dr. Manal A. Salem Soil Mechanics

13

Field determination of k
2.

## Artesian (confined) Aquifer:

Pump water
from well at a
constant rate (Q)
until reach

Initial piezometric
Pumping well
surface

Field
measurements:
Q, r1, r2, h1, h2,
where:
h1 = H h1
h2 = H h2

Piezometer (1)

r2

r1

Piezometer (2)

h2

h1
Draw down
piezometric line

h1

h2

H D

Aquitard

Calculate k

k=

Q ln(r2 / r1 )
2D h2 h1
Dr. Manal A. Salem Soil Mechanics

Field determination of k

tests.

14

## Empirical Correlations for k

1.

Coarse-grained soils

Hazens (1930):

## k (cm / sec) = cD102

where
c = constant ranging from 1 to 2
D10 = effective grain size in mm

Chapuis (2004):

e3
k (cm / sec) = 2.4622 D102

(1 + e)

where

0.7825

e = void ratio
D10 = effective grain size in mm
Dr. Manal A. Salem Soil Mechanics

## Empirical Correlations for k

2.

Fine-grained soils

en

k = C
1+ e
where
C and n = constants determined experimentally
e = void ratio

15

## Empirical Correlations for k

Example: A clayey soil was tested in the lab and the following
values were determined:
Void ratio

k (cm/sec)

1.1

0.302 x 10-7

0.9

0.12 x 10-7

## Estimate k for void ratio = 0.75

(1.1) n

0.302x10 = C
1
1
.
1
+

en

k = C
1
+
e

(0.9) n

0.120x107 = C
1 + 0.9
Dr. Manal A. Salem Soil Mechanics

## Empirical Correlations for k

Example: A clayey soil was tested in the lab and the following
values were determined:
Void ratio

k (cm/sec)

1.1

0.302 x 10-7

0.9

0.12 x 10-7

0.302x107
0.120x107

(1.1) n

1
1
.
1
+

=
(0.9) n

1 + 0.9

n = 5.098

16

## Empirical Correlations for k

Example: A clayey soil was tested in the lab and the following
values were determined:
Void ratio

k (cm/sec)

1.1

0.302 x 10-7

0.9

0.12 x 10-7

## Estimate k for void ratio = 0.75

(1.1)5.098

0.302x107 = C
1 + 1.1

C = 0.390x107

(0.75)5.098
= 0.051x107 cm / sec
k = 0.390x10
1 + 0.75
7

## Dr. Manal A. Salem Soil Mechanics

Typical Values of k
Soil Type

k (cm/sec)

Gravel

100 10-1

Coarse Sand

10-1 10-2

Fine Sand

10-2 10-3

Silty Sand

10-3 10-4

Silt

10-4 10-5

Clay

<10-6

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