JpGU-AGU Joint Meeting 2017

Presentation information

[EE] Poster

A (Atmospheric and Hydrospheric Sciences) » A-GE Geological & Soil Environment

[A-GE39] [EE] Subsurface Mass Transport and Environmental Assessment

Tue. May 23, 2017 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM Poster Hall (International Exhibition Hall HALL7)

convener:Shoichiro Hamamoto(Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, The University of Tokyo), Yuki Kojima(Gifu University), Hirotaka Saito(Department of Ecoregion Science, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology), Yasushi Mori(Graduate School of Environmental and Life Science, Okayama University)

[AGE39-P02] Gas transport in partially saturated packings of angular and rounded sands: Experiments and theoretical applications

Ghanbarian Behzad2, *Shoichiro Hamamoto1, Ken Kawamoto3, Toshihiro Sakaki4, Taku Nishimura1, Toshiko Komatsu3 (1.Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, The University of Tokyo, 2.Department of Petroleum & Geosystems Eng., University of Texas at Austin, 3.Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Saitama University, 4.Center for Experimental Study of Subsurface Environmental Processes, Colorado School of Mines)

Keywords:Coordination number, Gas diffusion, Gas permeability, Pore throat-size distribution, Grain shape

Gaseous transport in porous media is mainly controlled by pore space geometrical and morphological characteristics, such as pore throat-size distribution and pore connectivity. In this study, we address predicting gas diffusion and permeability in packings of angular and rounded sand grains. Two average sizes of grain i.e., 0.3 and 0.5 mm were used to pack sands in a column of 6 cm height and 4.9 cm diameter. Angular sand grains were packed loosely, while rounded ones tightly to obtain a total porosity of about 0.4 in all samples. Water contents, gas diffusion, and gas permeability were measured at different suction heads. An X-ray computed tomography method was also applied to scan the pore network under fully dry conditions and to capture pore coordination number distribution. By analyzing the measured water retention curve, we found the pore space fractal dimension D ranged between 0.98 and 1.8, while typically 2 < D < 3 in natural porous media. This shows that the pore throat-size distribution of these packs is narrower than that in typical natural porous media. Experimental results indicated that both gas diffusion and permeability as a function of air-filled porosity (ε) showed linear behavior at higher suction heads, while deviated substantially from linear scaling at lower suctions. Accordingly, the effective-medium approximation and the universal power law of percolation were invoked at higher and lower air-filled porosity ε values, respectively. The crossover between the two occurs at some intermediate air-filled porosity εx. We found that at higher air-filled porosities, the main factor controlling diffusion and permeability is the average pore coordination number (Z), while at lower ε values, near a percolation threshold, effects of both tortuosity and connectivity are nontrivial. Comparing the theory with the diffusion and permeability experiments showed that the determined value of Z ranged between 2.8 and 5.3, not greatly different from X-ray computed tomography results. The obtained results clearly indicate that the effect of the pore throat-size distribution on gas diffuion and permebaility was minimal in these sand packs.