A study of infiltration on three sand capillary barriers
Leong, Eng Choon
Fredlund, Delwyn G.
Date of Issue2004
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
The capillary barrier effect was investigated by conducting infiltration tests on three soil columns of fine sand over medium sand, medium sand over gravelly sand, and fine sand over gravelly sand. The barrier effect was verified in the underlying layer of coarser material, and the water-entry values of the coarser layers were confirmed to be nearly equal to the residual matric suctions of the soils. The coarser layer of gravelly sand, which had a lower water-entry value, was more effective in forming a barrier than the coarser layer of medium sand, which had a higher water-entry value. When the capillary barrier was comprised of a coarser layer of gravelly sand, there was more water stored in the finer layer at the end of the drying stage than when the capillary barrier was comprised of a coarser layer of medium sand. Non-equilibrium static conditions of pore-water pressure profiles were observed in the three soil columns, and a generalized ultimate pore-water pressure profile of a capillary barrier system was proposed. In addition, the final volumetric water contents versus matric suctions of the soils as measured from the soil columns were reasonably consistent with the soil-water characteristic curves (SWCCs) of the soils, suggesting that the drying SWCC of a soil could also be obtained from the drying process in a soil column (or a capillary open tube). The drying SWCC could be established from measurements in the soil column up to a height corresponding to two times the residual matric suction head of the soil.
Canadian geotechnical journal
© 2004 Canadian Science Publishing