A physical–chemical model for the static water retention characteristic of unsaturated porous media

Wang, Y ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4375-303X, Grove, SM and Anderson, MG 2008, 'A physical–chemical model for the static water retention characteristic of unsaturated porous media' , Advances in Water Resources, 31 (4) , pp. 701-713.

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Water retention characteristic or water retention curve (WRC) is an important constitutive feature of porous media, and also meanwhile is an indispensable requirement in hydraulic transport modelling. Previous experiments have indicated that the specific surface area of porous media has effects on the WRC. It has also been observed that a linear relationship generally exists between the air–water interface area and the water saturation within unsaturated porous media. However it seems that no detailed study on their internal linkage with the WRC has been reported yet. This paper, at first gives a review of the development of WRC modelling, then it tries to explain the water retention characteristic according to the physical and chemical behaviours of the phases involved in unsaturated porous media. Using the traditional capillary theory, the volume averaging theorem and the advances in physical chemistry of interfacial surfaces, this paper then derives out a formula which represents the water retention characteristic of porous media. This formula demonstrates the internal linkage of the WRC to the specific surface area of porosities. It also shows agreements with the experimental observations mathematically. Based on this formula, a fitting model is proposed for the static WRC of porous media. Finally, this model is tested to fit the WRC measurements of a wide range of porous materials. Comparison with other main models is presented.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > School of Computing, Science and Engineering > Salford Innovation Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Advances in Water Resources
Publisher: Elsevier
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 03091708
Depositing User: Users 29196 not found.
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2012 15:11
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 14:16
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/21095

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