Quasi‐steady centrifuge method for unsaturated hydraulic properties

Water Resources Research
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We have developed the quasi‐steady centrifuge (QSC) method as a variation of the steady state centrifuge method that can be implemented simply and inexpensively with greater versatility in terms of sample size and other features. It achieves these advantages by somewhat relaxing the criterion for steadiness of flow through the sample. This compromise entails an increase in measurement uncertainty but to a degree that is tolerable in most applications. We have tested this new approach with an easily constructed apparatus to establish a quasi‐steady flow of water in unsaturated porous rock samples spinning in a centrifuge, obtaining measurements of unsaturated hydraulic conductivity and water retention that agree with results of other methods. The QSC method is adaptable to essentially any centrifuge suitable for hydrogeologic applications, over a wide range of sizes and operating speeds. The simplified apparatus and greater adaptability of this method expands the potential for exploring situations that are common in nature but have been the subject of few laboratory investigations.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Quasi‐steady centrifuge method for unsaturated hydraulic properties
Series title Water Resources Research
DOI 10.1029/2005WR003957
Volume 41
Issue 11
Year Published 2005
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Contributing office(s) Toxic Substances Hydrology Program
Description W11504; 5 p.
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