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.
|Title||Hydraulic conductivity of a sandy soil at low water content after compaction by various methods|
|Authors||John R. Nimmo, Katherine C. Akstin|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Soil Science Society of America Journal|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Toxic Substances Hydrology Program|