Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Hydraulic conductivity of a sandy soil at low water content after compaction by various methods

January 1, 1988

To investigate the degree to which compaction of a sandy soil influences its unsaturated hydraulic conductivity K, samples of Oakley sand (now in the Delhi series; mixed, thermic, Typic Xeropsamments) were packed to various densities and K was measured by the steady-state centrifuge method. The air-dry, machine packing was followed by centrifugal compression with the soil wet to about one-third saturation. Variations in (i) the impact frequency and (ii) the impact force during packing, and (iii) the amount of centrifugal force applied after packing, produced a range of porosity from 0.333 to 0.380. With volumetric water content θ between 0.06 and 0.12, K values were between 7 × 10−11 and 2 × 10−8 m/s. Comparisons of K at a single θ value for samples differing in porosity by about 3% showed as much as fivefold variation for samples prepared by different packing procedures, while there generally was negligible variation (within experimental error of 8%) where the porosity difference resulted from a difference in centrifugal force. Analysis involving capillary-theory models suggests that the differences in K can be related to differences in pore-space geometry inferred from water retention curves measured for the various samples.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1988
Title Hydraulic conductivity of a sandy soil at low water content after compaction by various methods
DOI 10.2136/sssaj1988.03615995005200020001x
Authors John R. Nimmo, Katherine C. Akstin
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Soil Science Society of America Journal
Series Number
Index ID 70185534
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Toxic Substances Hydrology Program

Related Content