Turbulent Flow in Porous Media

by J. C. Ward,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1964, Vol. 90, Issue 5, Pg. 1-12

Document Type: Journal Paper


An equation applicable for both laminar and turbulent flow in porous media has been developed and experimentally verified. This equation expresses the pressure drop per unit length as a function of the absolute viscosity and mass density of the fluid and the macroscopic velocity. Because this equation is dimensionally homogeneous, any consistent set of units (cgs, etc.) may be used. All of the experimental data are represented on a plot of the Fanning friction factor for porous media versus the Reynolds number for porous media, in which the characteristic length, in both cases, is the square root of the permeability. The analogy between this plot and similar plots for circular pipes is noted together with the differences. The relationship between filtration and sedimentation is also shown. Water was the fluid used in all of the experimental runs. Glass beads, ion exchange resin, sand, gravel, anthracite coal, and granular activated carbon were the porous media used; all of these media are commercially available. Some of the glass beads media were approximately uniform in size.

Subject Headings: Turbulent flow | Porous media flow | Porous media | Fluid velocity | Glass | Laminar flow | Verification | Dynamic pressure

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