Measurement of Permeability of Cohesive Soils Using Electrokinetics

The phenomenon of electrokinetic migration of water due to imposed voltage gradients in fine-grained soils was exploited to determine the hydraulic conductivity of resedimented Georgia Kaolin and natural Chicago glacial clay. The imposition of a voltage gradient across a saturated sample of a clay soil can induce water migration causing excess pore pressures to develop. By relating the electro-osmotic migration of the water in the pores and the pore pressures developed during a test, the hydraulic conductivity of the sample may be determined. To prevent the chemical and physical reactions that occur at the cathode and anode when a current is passed through a soil sample from interfering with the test, an alternating current approach was developed. This technique can rapidly evaluate the hydraulic conductivity of cohesive soils.

Related Publications

Yin, J., Feldkamp, J.R., Chung, K.-Y., and Finno, R.J., "Electro-osmotic Pore Pressures in Soil Due to an Alternating Electrical Field," Transport in Porous Media, 18, 37-63, 1995.

Yin, J., Finno, R.J., Feldkamp, J.R., and Chung, K.-Y., "Coefficient of Permeability from A/C Electroosmosis Experiments: Theory," Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, ASCE, 122, 5, 1996.

Finno, R.J., Chung, K.-Y., and Feldkamp, J.R., "Coefficient of Permeability from A/C Electroosmosis Experiments: Results," Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, ASCE, 122, 5, 1996.

Yin, J., Finno,R.J. and Feldkamp, J.R., "Electro-Osmotic Mobility Measurement for Kaolinite Clay," Proceedings, Geoenvironment 2000, ASCE, New Orleans, 1995.

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For more information contact:
Dr. Richard J. Finno