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Open AccessArticle

Understanding the Changes in Hydraulic Conductivity Values of Coarse- and Fine-Grained Porous Media Mixtures

1
Department of Civil Engineering, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849-5337, USA
2
Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487, USA
3
Key Laboratory of Urban StormWater System and Water Environment, Ministry of Education, Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Beijing 100044, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2018, 10(3), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10030313
Received: 26 January 2018 / Revised: 19 February 2018 / Accepted: 7 March 2018 / Published: 13 March 2018
Low permeability clay-sand mixtures are often used to construct hydraulic barriers to prevent contaminated water leaching from landfills and other waste disposal sites from polluting local groundwater aquifers. In order to engineer effective hydraulic barriers, a proper knowledge of the hydraulic conductivity of clay-sand mixtures is required. While there are several empirical models available in the literature that can be used to predict reductions in hydraulic conductivity values of coarse sand due to the presence of clay and other fine minerals, all these models require measurement of multiple physical properties of the porous media. The resulting empirical expressions have several parameters that need to be individually evaluated using multiple soil characterization tests. In this study, we propose a single parameter model that can be used to capture the variations in hydraulic conductivity value of different types of porous media mixtures using a scalable modeling framework. Several laboratory tests were conducted to measure the hydraulic conductivity values of a variety of coarse and fine glass bead mixtures. The coarse glass beads were used to simulate sand and small glass beads were used to simulate fine minerals such as silt and clay. The model results were further validated using the data derived from experiments conducted with natural sand and clay mixtures, and also using multiple literature-derived datasets. Our results show that the proposed model is a useful tool for describing the hydraulic conductivity values of various types of coarse- and fine-grained porous media mixtures. View Full-Text
Keywords: groundwater; hydraulic barrier; hydraulic conductivity; clay-sand mixtures; modeling groundwater; hydraulic barrier; hydraulic conductivity; clay-sand mixtures; modeling
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MDPI and ACS Style

Alakayleh, Z.; Clement, T.P.; Fang, X. Understanding the Changes in Hydraulic Conductivity Values of Coarse- and Fine-Grained Porous Media Mixtures. Water 2018, 10, 313. https://doi.org/10.3390/w10030313

AMA Style

Alakayleh Z, Clement TP, Fang X. Understanding the Changes in Hydraulic Conductivity Values of Coarse- and Fine-Grained Porous Media Mixtures. Water. 2018; 10(3):313. https://doi.org/10.3390/w10030313

Chicago/Turabian Style

Alakayleh, Zuhier; Clement, T. P.; Fang, Xing. 2018. "Understanding the Changes in Hydraulic Conductivity Values of Coarse- and Fine-Grained Porous Media Mixtures" Water 10, no. 3: 313. https://doi.org/10.3390/w10030313

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