The author of this paper demonstrates the use of two-dimensional random networks to quantitatively represent the minifabric of compacted clays. The structure of compacted clays is idealized using aggregations of spherical clusters that in are represented as circles in a two-dimensional plane. Flow occurs in intercluster pores only, and the random network of pores in the minifabric is built using constant-diameter pore segments. The maximum diameter of the clusters controls the important network parameters--such as diameter, length distribution, and areal density of pore segments--and connectivity of the network. With small clusters, though, the permeability is low due to the low transmissivities of individual pore segments, in spite of the well-connected nature of the networks. Conversely, for the same intercluster porosity, the permeability corresponding to large clusters is high in spite of the poorly connected nature of the networks, due to the high transmissivities of individual pore segments. The network model is applied to prior studies where data are available, and good agreement is noted between experimental observations of hydraulic conductivity and the random networks predictions.


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Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 906-913
  • Serial:

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00730023
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 30 1997 12:00AM