Experimental and theoretical memory diffusion of water in sand

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The basic equations used to study the fluid diffusion in porous media have been set by Fick and Darcy in the mid of the XIXth century but some data on the flow of fluids in rocks exhibit properties which may not be interpreted with the classical theory of propagation of pressure and fluids in porous media (Bell and Nur, 1978; Roeloffs, 1988).
Concerning the fluids and the flow, some fluids carry solid particles which may obstruct some of the pores diminishing their size or even closing them, some others may chemically and physically react with the medium enlarging the pores; so permeability changes during time and the flow occurs as if the medium had a memory.
In this paper we show with experimental data that the permeability of sand layers may decrease due to rearrangement of the grains and consequent compaction, as already shown qualitatively by Elias and Hajash (1992). We also provide a memory model for diffusion of fluids in porous media which
fits well the flux rate observed in five laboratory experiments of diffusion of water in sand. Finally we show that the flux rate variations observed during the experiments are compatible with the compaction of sand, due to the amount of fluid which went through the grains locally, and therefore with the reduction of porosity.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHydrology and Earth System Sciences
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)93-100
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

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