You are on page 1of 10

Typical Coefficient of Permeability k Values for Different Soils

Coefficeint of Permeability
k, (cm/sec)

Relative Permeability

> 1 x 10-1

Very permeable

Tyoical Soils
Coarse gravel

Medium permeable

1 x 10 to 1 x 10

Low permeable

1 x 10-3 to 1 x 10-5

Silty sand, dirty sand

Very low permeable

1 x 10 to 1 x 10

Silt, fine sandstone

-1

-5

< 1 x 10-7

Impervious

-3

-7

Sand, fine sand

Clay

Ishibashi, I. and Hazarika, H. 2011. Soil Mechanics Fundamentas.


CRC Press Taylor & Francis Group, USA.
HAZEN'S FORMULA (1911)
Widely used for saturaed sandy soils.
2
k = C(D10)

where,

k = coefficeint of permeability (cm/sec)


D10 = particel size for which 10% of soil is finer (mm)
C = Hazen's empirical coefficeint, which takes a value between 0.4 and 10.0
(mostly 0.4 to 1.5), depending on literatures (Carrier 2003), with the
average value of 1.0

Because of the wide range of C values, this equation shall be used only as a rough estimate of k.
Input parametrs marked in purple:
D10 = 0.0300 mm
C = 1.0
k=

9.00E-04

cm/sec

Notes:
1. Generally limited to 0.1 mm < D 10 < 3 mm (Hazen 1892, 1911; Holz and Kovacs 1981; Coduto 1999)
2. The Hazen empirical coefficeint corresponds to a water temperature of 10C.

Approximate Coefficient of Permeability for Various Sands

Type of Sand (USCS)

Coefficeint of Permeability
k, (cm/sec)

Sandy Silt

0.0005 to 0.002

Silty Sand

0.002 to 0.005

Very Fine Sand


Fine Sand
Fine to Medium Sand
Medium Sand
Medium to Coarse Sand
Coarse Sand and Gravel
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

en 0.4 and 10.0


3), with the

Kovacs 1981; Coduto 1999)

0.005 to 0.02
0.02 to 0.05
0.05 to 0.1
0.1 to 0.15
0.15 to 0.2
0.2 to 0.5

Typical Coefficient of Permeability k Values for Different Soils

Relative Permeability

Coefficeint of Permeability
k, (cm/sec)
> 1 x 10-1

Very permeable

Tyoical Soils
Coarse gravel

Medium permeable

1 x 10 to 1 x 10

-3

Low permeable

1 x 10 to 1 x 10

-5

Silty sand, dirty sand

Very low permeable

1 x 10 to 1 x 10

-7

Silt, fine sandstone

-1
-3
-5

< 1 x 10

Impervious

-7

Sand, fine sand

Clay

Ishibashi, I. and Hazarika, H. 2011. Soil Mechanics Fundamentas.


CRC Press Taylor & Francis Group, USA.
CHAPUIS'S FORMULA (2004)
2
3
0.7825
k = 2.4622[(D10) (e /(1+e))]

where,

k = coefficeint of permeability (cm/sec)


D10 = particel size for which 10% of soil is finer (mm)
e = void ratio of soil (volume of voids / volume of solid particles)
Ranges of void ratio, e (Braja, M. DAS: Principles of Foundation Engineering)

Soil Type
Poorly graded sand with loose density
Well-graded dense sand
Loose density sand w angular particles
Dense density sand w angular particles
Stiff clay
Soft clay
Loess
Soft organic clay
Glacial till
Input parametrs marked in purple:
D10 = 0.0100 mm
e = 0.45
k=

2.09E-04

cm/sec

e
0.8
0.45
0.65
0.4
0.6
0.9 - 1.4
0.9
2.5 - 3.2
0.3

Approximate Coefficient of Permeability for Various Sands

Type of Sand (USCS)

Coefficeint of Permeability
k, (cm/sec)

Sandy Silt

0.0005 to 0.002

Silty Sand

0.002 to 0.005

Very Fine Sand


Fine Sand
Fine to Medium Sand
Medium Sand
Medium to Coarse San
Coarse Sand and Grave
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

0.005 to 0.02
0.02 to 0.05
0.05 to 0.1
0.1 to 0.15
0.15 to 0.2
0.2 to 0.5

Typical Coefficient of Permeability k Values for Different Soils

Relative Permeability

Approximate Coefficient of Permeability for Various Sands

Coefficeint of Permeability
k, (cm/sec)
> 1 x 10-1

Tyoical Soils

Type of Sand (USCS)

Coefficeint of Permeability
k, (cm/sec)

Coarse gravel

Sandy Silt

0.0005 to 0.002

Medium permeable

1 x 10-1 to 1 x 10-3

Sand, fine sand

Silty Sand

0.002 to 0.005

Low permeable

1 x 10-3 to 1 x 10-5

Silty sand, dirty sand

Very Fine Sand

Very low permeable

1 x 10-5 to 1 x 10-7

Silt, fine sandstone

Fine Sand

Clay

Ishibashi, I. and Hazarika, H. 2011. Soil Mechanics Fundamentas.


CRC Press Taylor & Francis Group, USA.

Fine to Medium Sand


Medium Sand
Medium to Coarse Sand
Coarse Sand and Gravel

KOZENY (1927) AND CARMAN'S (1938 and 1956) FORMULA

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Very permeable

< 1 x 10-7

Impervious

0.005 to 0.02
0.02 to 0.05
0.05 to 0.1
0.1 to 0.15
0.15 to 0.2
0.2 to 0.5

2
3
k = (w/w)[1/(Ck-cSs )][e /(1+e)]

where,

k = coefficeint of permeability (cm/sec)


w = unit weight of water (9.81 kN/m3)
w = viscosity of water (1.307 x 10-3 Nsec/m2 for T=10C ; 1.002 x 10-3 Nsec/m2 for T=20C)
Ck-c = Kozeny-Carman's empirical constant (4.8 0.3 for uniform spheres and usually 5.0 is used)
Ss = specific surface area per unti volume of particles (1/cm)
e = void ratio of soil (volume of voids / volume of solid particles)

Ranges of void ratio, e (Braja, M. DAS: Prin

Soil Type
Poorly graded sand with loose density

When w = 9.81 kN/m3, w = 1.002 x 10-3 Nsec/m3 and Ck-c = 5.0 are substituted, the equation becomes:

Well-graded dense sand


Loose density sand with angular particles

4
2
3
k = (1.96 x 10 )(1/Ss )[e /(1+e)]

Dense density sand with angular particles


Stiff clay

Estimation of Ss values is not straightforward. It is 6/D for uniform sphereswith D as the diameter of the spheres.

Soft clay

Carrier (2003) gave estimation of Ss for distributed soils from effective diameter, Deff

Loess
Soft organic clay

Ss = SF/Def
where,

and

Def = 100% / (fi / Davg i)

and

Davg i = Dl,i0.5Ds,i0.5

SF = shape factor (spherical-6, rounded-6.1, worn-6.4, sharp-7.4 and angular 7.7 by Fair and Hatch (1933) or,
rounded-6.6, medium angularity-7.5 and angular-8.4 by London (1952))
Def = effective diameter of particles
fi = fraction (in percent) of particles between two sieve sizes with Dl,i as larger and Ds,i as smaller sieve sizes
Davg i = average particel size betweentwo sieve sizes

Now,
4
0.5
0.5
2
2
3
k = (1.96 x 10 )[100% / {(fi/(Dl,i Ds,i }] (1/SF )[e /(1+e)]

Although,
Dave,i = Dl,i0.5Ds,i0.5

Ss/SF = (1/Di)ave (1/Dave i)

Glacial till

It can be shown that,

(1/Di)ave = 1 / (Dl,i0.404Ds,i0.595)

Assuming the particle size distribution is log-linear between


each pair of sieve sizes.

4
0.404
Ds,i0.595}]2(1/SF2)[e3/(1+e)]
k = (1.96 x 10 )[100% / {(fi/(Dl,i

Notes:
Input parametrs marked in purple:
e = 0.50

k=

1.44E-05

HYDROMETER

(mm)
75
63
53
37.5
26.5
19
13.2
9.5
4.75
2
0.85
0.425
0.25
0.106
0.075
0.0467
0.0335
0.0214
0.0125
0.0089
0.0063
0.0031
0.0013
0.0002

Passing (%)
100
100
100
100
100
96.1
96.1
94.7
92.6
89.9
88.7
87.7
84.8
34.3
23.5
15.2
13.5
11.9
10.2
9.3
8.5
6.8
5.1
0

cm/sec

calculate Deff.
3. Formula does not explicitly account for anisotropy.
fi / (Dl,i0.404Ds,i0.595)

Size of openings, inches

(%)
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
3.90
0.00
1.40
2.10
2.70
1.20
1.00
2.90
50.50
10.80
8.30
1.70
1.60
1.70
0.90
0.80
1.70
1.70
5.10

6.7473366
5.6738484
4.3068134
3.0460703
2.1719495
1.5288256
1.0850691
0.6289745
0.2841169
0.1203983
0.0564127
0.0310916
0.0150600
0.0086673
0.0056855
0.0038531
0.0025806
0.0015637
0.0010281
0.0007297
0.0004162
0.0001863
0.0000431
(fi / Davg i) =

0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
1.80
0.00
1.29
3.34
9.50
9.97
17.73
93.27
3353.26
1246.06
1459.86
441.21
620.02
1087.18
875.39
1096.30
4084.65
9123.10
118419.77
141943.69

U.S.S. Sieve Size, meshes/inch

100

90

80

70
PERCENT FINER THAN

COARSE SIEVING

SF = 7.5
Soil Type = Sand, some silt, trace to some clay
fi
(Dl,i0.404Ds,i0.595)
Size
Cumulative

1. Formula is not appropriate for clayey soils, although it will work for non-p
2. Formula is not appropriate if the particle size distribution has long, flat ta
fine section. As a practical matter, D0 must be know or estimated in order

60

50

40

30

20

10
2

0
1000

100

10

0.1
GRAIN SIZE, m m

id ratio, e (Braja, M. DAS: Principles of Foundation Engineering)

d sand with loose density

y sand with angular particles

y sand with angular particles

e
0.8
0.45
0.65
0.4
0.6
0.9 - 1.4
0.9
2.5 - 3.2
0.3

although it will work for non-plastic silts.


ze distribution has long, flat tail in the
be know or estimated in order to

GRAIN SIZE, m m

0.1

0.01

0.001

0.0001