Similitude for Drainage of Soils

by G. L. Corey,
Arthur T. Corey,

Serial Information: Journal of the Irrigation and Drainage Division, 1967, Vol. 93, Issue 3, Pg. 3-24

Document Type: Journal Paper


The similarity condition was applied to nonsteady flow of liquids in partially saturated porous media. Inspectional analysis was applied to the differential equation describing two-phase flow where the gas phase is everywhere at atmospheric pressure. Criteria for similitude were developed to facilitate studying complicated field processes with small laboratory models. Standard scaling units were chosen so that the capillary fringe depth can be precisely accounted for in a model. The time scale permits modeling a lengthy flow process in a relatively short period of time. The standard scaling units are readily measurable media and liquid properties. Some of these properties, however, are characteristic of the drainage cycle only. Theoretically, therefore, the scaling criteria are not applicable when hysteresis is important and the imbibition cycle is involved. The validity of the criteria were confirmed experimentally by applying a nonsteady drainage process to two columns of media which, according to the theory, were similar.

Subject Headings: Fouling | Porous media flow | Gas flow | Drainage | Inspection | Differential equations | Pressurized flow | Stratified flow

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