Theoretical assessment of fabric and permeability changes in clays affected by organic contaminants

TitleTheoretical assessment of fabric and permeability changes in clays affected by organic contaminants
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsT Hueckel, M Kaczmarek, and P Caramuscio
JournalCanadian Geotechnical Journal
Start Page588
Pagination588 - 603
Date Published01/1997

Permeability of clay is known, from laboratory tests, to increase over four orders of magnitude during low effective stress permeation with some concentrated organic liquids. On an engineering scale, in a one-dimensional purely advective flow through a finite layer, such evolution is shown numerically to cause a substantial acceleration of the progress of the contamination front, compared with a constant permeability case. For a 100-fold increase in intrinsic permeability for a 100% replacement of pore water with an organic, a two times shorter advective transit time is predicted. A series of quantitative fabric models based on interpretations and concepts proposed in the past are reformulated in quantitative terms. These models are associated with adsorbed water withdrawal, particle migration, and deposition leading to pore clogging, changes in connectivity or flocculation. Permeability is derived from the flow through a simplified structure formed by dominant pores in the actual pore size distribution. The formulation is applied to interpret previously published experimental data. It is found that a series connection of the dominant pores must be postulated rather than a parallel one, with the smaller pore acting as a bottle neck. A simple pore enlargement model is found not to be realistic. The numerically most consistent results are obtained for the flocculation model involving a particle rotation generating wedge-shaped channels.

Short TitleCanadian Geotechnical Journal