Volumetric Water Content

FIG. 9.1.4 Schematic equilibrium water-content distribution above a water table (left) for a coarse uniform sand (A), a fine uniform sand (B), a well-graded fine sand (C), and a clay soil (D). The right plot shows the corresponding equilibrium watercontent distribution in a soil profile consisting of layers of materials A, B, and D.


K = hydraulic conductivity (called the coefficient of permeability in soil mechanics) k = intrinsic permeability y = specific weight of fluid = dynamic viscosity of fluid

For a given fluid under a constant temperature and pressure, the hydraulic conductivity is a function of the properties of the aquifer material, that is, how permeable the soil is. The subject of hydraulic conductivity is discussed in more detail in Section 9.2.

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