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Open AccessArticle

The Impact of Capillary Trapping of Air on Satiated Hydraulic Conductivity of Sands Interpreted by X-ray Microtomography

1
Faculty of Civil Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague, 166 29 Prague, Czech Republic
2
Laboratório de Métodos de Modelagem e Geofísica Computacional, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 21941-596, Brazil
3
Department of Soil and Environment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(2), 445; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12020445
Received: 17 December 2019 / Revised: 29 January 2020 / Accepted: 4 February 2020 / Published: 7 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Flow, Solute and Heat Transfer in Groundwater)
The relationship between entrapped air content and the corresponding hydraulic conductivity was investigated experimentally for two coarse sands. Two packed samples of 5 cm height were prepared for each sand. Air entrapment was created by repeated infiltration and drainage cycles. The value of K was determined using repetitive falling-head infiltration experiments, which were evaluated using Darcy’s law. The entrapped air content was determined gravimetrically after each infiltration run. The amount and distribution of air bubbles were quantified by micro-computed X-ray tomography (CT) for selected runs. The obtained relationship between entrapped air content and satiated hydraulic conductivity agreed well with Faybishenko’s (1995) formula. CT imaging revealed that entrapped air contents and bubbles sizes were increasing with the height of the sample. It was found that the size of the air bubbles and clusters increased with each experimental cycle. The relationship between initial and residual gas saturation was successfully fitted with a linear model. The combination of X-ray computed tomography and infiltration experiments has a large potential to explore the effects of entrapped air on water flow. View Full-Text
Keywords: residual saturation; porous media; permeability; entrapped air; two-phase flow residual saturation; porous media; permeability; entrapped air; two-phase flow
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MDPI and ACS Style

Princ, T.; Fideles, H.M.R.; Koestel, J.; Snehota, M. The Impact of Capillary Trapping of Air on Satiated Hydraulic Conductivity of Sands Interpreted by X-ray Microtomography. Water 2020, 12, 445.

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