Laboratory investigation of permeability property of natural gravels with different particle sizes under different laying conditions

Sci Prog. 2021 Jan-Mar;104(1):368504211002357. doi: 10.1177/00368504211002357.


The seepage properties of natural gravel are one of the problems to be considered in seepage project designs. In this paper, the seepage properties of the natural gravel with particle sizes of 5, 20 and 60 mm were investigated under different laying conditions. The effect of the particle size, laying depth, bulk density and pressurized head on the seepage properties of the natural gravel was analyzed by using the combined methods of theoretical analysis with physical model test. The results showed that the seepage flow in the natural gravel was non-laminar flow in the test conditions described in this paper. Meanwhile, the relationship between particle size, laying depth, bulk density, pressurized heads and seepage property was established. The seepage discharge increased with the increase of the pressurized head and particle size, and decreased with the increasing of laying depth and bulk density. The critical laying depth and bulk density can be obtained when the seepage discharge becomes zero. The empirical formula of the seepage discharge of natural gravel with different particle sizes, laying depths, bulk densities and pressurized heads was obtained with the method of nonlinear regression, which can be expressed as: Q=5.9546d0.3713γ-0.2974L-0.1156H0.1307-5.6614. The empirical formula was experimentally validated. The maximum relative error did not exceed 6.73%, proving that the empirical formula of the seepage discharge of natural gravel was rational. The results can provide an important reference to further studying the seepage properties of macropore media, and form a theoretical basis for applying the natural gravel in the seepage projects.

Keywords: Seepage properties; laying conditions; natural gravel; particle sizes; pressurized head.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Particle Size*
  • Permeability