Soil Permeability

Permeability is the Ease with which the water can flow through the soil. It helps us to understand engineering problems like seepage problems, settlement calculations etc.

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What is permeability?

Permeability is the Ease with which the water can flow through the soil. Larger the pores more the permeability and vice versa.

• Gravel would have the more permeability compare to the sand, silt and clay.
• Flocculated structure would have more permeability than the dispersed structure

Why should we measure permeability?

• It helps us to understand engineering problems like seepage problems,settlement calculations etc.
• Pore water pressure existed will develop the stress and it will dissipate with time based on the permeability and finally the settlement takes place.

Darcy's Law

Q=KiA.

• V = Superficial velocity
• i = Hydraulic Gradient
• K = Coefficient of permeability.

Flow is assumed as laminar, valid for all the soils except for coarse gravel. Superficial velocity V is calculated considering the flow through the entire area.

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What are the methods for determination of permeability?

Laboratory tests.

• Constant head permeability test.
• Variable head permeability test.

Field tests.

• Pumping out tests.
• Pumping in test.

Indirect methods.

• If the particle size and specific surface area are known then permeability can be determined.
• From the consolidation data

What are the factors affecting permeability?

• Particle size
• Effect of void ratio
• Effect of permeant
• Shape of particles
• Degree of saturation
• Effect of soil fabric
• Impurities in water
• Effects of adsorbed cation on clay mineral surface

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