Permeability Calculated From Desaturation Data

by Garland E. Laliberte,
Royal H. Brooks,
Arthur T. Corey,

Serial Information: Journal of the Irrigation and Drainage Division, 1968, Vol. 94, Issue 1, Pg. 57-72

Document Type: Journal Paper


An equation is presented for calculating saturated permeability from capillary pressure-desaturation data. The use of this equation along with the relative permeability equations of Brooks and Corey is proposed for calculating the permeability of both saturated and partially saturated media. The analysis leading to the development of the equation is based on theory developed in the petroleum industry. The equation utilizes parameters introduced by Brooks and Corey for describing the hydraulic behavior of partially saturated porous media on the drainage cycle. In laboratory measurements, the permeability of three disturbed soils each packed at five different values of porosity was determined at various capillary pressures. Predicted relationships were calculated using capillary pressure-desaturation data in the new equation and in the relative permeability equations of Brooks and Corey. Calculated and experimental values of permeability agreed within 27% over the range of capillary pressures studied.

Subject Headings: Permeability (material) | Permeability (soil) | Petroleum | Industries | Parameters (statistics) | Hydraulics | Porous media | Drainage

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