Volume 23, Issue 1 (March 2000)
Comparison of Internal and Surface Erosion Using Flow Pump Tests on a Sand-Kaolinite Mixture
The purpose of this paper is to assess the difference between surface and internal erosion processes using results from flow pump tests. Samples of 70% Ottawa sand + 30% kaolinite mixture were used with distilled water and NaCl solutions as permeants. Two kinds of tests were conducted, a surface erosion test where the permeant was pumped through a cylindrical hole of 7-mm diameter and an internal erosion test where the permeant was pumped through intact compacted samples in compaction permeameters. A simple capillary tube model was used to estimate the critical shear stresses needed to cause erosion in surface erosion experiments. It was found that although surface erosion critical shear stresses were exceeded in the intact soil samples, particle clogging in the pores and redeposition of eroded particles prevented mobilization of particles into the effluent stream. Erosion rates estimated using surface erosion parameters were significantly greater than those observed in internal erosion experiments. The results suggest that the fate of eroded particles, including particle redeposition and pore clogging, may govern the internal erosion process far more than the surface erodibility of the soil.