Volume-Controlled Hydrologic Property Measurements in Triaxial Systems

    Published: Jan 1994

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    New capabilities for hydrologic property measurements in triaxial systems include: (1) volume-controlled and simultaneous measurements of hydraulic conductivity and one-dimensional consolidation (or specific storage) of a saturated test specimen; and (2) volume-controlled measurements of hydraulic conductivity, matric potential, and the variation of these properties with the moisture content of an unsaturated test specimen.

    Data on saturated kaolinite demonstrate simultaneous hydraulic-conductivity and one-dimensional consolidation tests with continuous monitoring of both vertical and horizontal effective stresses. Data on well-graded silty sand demonstrate the feasibility of concurrent constant-flow hydraulic conductivity and matric potential measurements, and the variation of these properties with moisture content, for undisturbed and unsaturated specimens mounted in triaxial cells. Refinements needed to realize the full potential of these capabilities include a more rigid triaxial cell to minimize compliance, and an improved technique for measuring hydraulic-head differences within an unsaturated test specimen.


    compressibility, consolidation, hydraulic conductivity, matric potential, permeability, specific storage, capillary pressure, flow pumps, volume control

    Author Information:

    Olsen, HW
    Research Geotechnical Engineer, U. S. Geological Survey, Denver, CO

    Willden, AT
    Geological Engineer, Geotrans Inc., Boulder, CO

    Kiusalaas, NJ
    Geological Engineer, Advanced Sciences Inc., Lakewood, CO

    Nelson, KR
    Associate Professor, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO

    Poeter, EP
    Associate Professor, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO

    Committee/Subcommittee: D18.04

    DOI: 10.1520/STP23904S

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