The accurate hydraulic characterization of low-permeability subsurface environments has important practical significance. In order to examine this issue from the perspective of laboratory-based approaches, we review some recent advancements in the theoretical analyses of three different laboratory techniques specifically applied to low-permeability geologic materials: constant-head, constant flow-rate and transient-pulse permeability tests. Some potential strategies for effectively decreasing the time required to confidently estimate the permeability of these materials are presented. In addition, a new and versatile laboratory system is introduced that can implement any of these three test methods while simultaneously subjecting a specimen to high confining pressures and pore pressures, thereby simulating in situ conditions at great depths. The capabilities and advantages of this innovative system are demonstrated using experimental data derived from Shirahama sandstone and Inada granite, two rock types widely encountered in Japan.
Additional publication details
Determining the hydraulic properties of saturated, low-permeability geological materials in the laboratory: Advances in theory and practice
Larger Work Title:
ASTM Special Technical Publication
Evaluation and Remediation of Low Permeability and Dual Porosity Environments