Correlations of hydraulic properties with easily measured physical properties are useful for purposes of site characterization in heterogeneous sites. Approximately 600 samples of volcanic rocks from Yucca Mountain, Nevada, representing lithologies with a large range of hydraulic properties, were analyzed to develop correlations of effective porosity with saturated hydraulic conductivity and moisture-retention curve-fit parameters that relate to lithologies of varying depositional history and alteration processes. Effective porosity, ??e, defined as the porosity calculated using drying at a relative humidity of -70 MPa, is used in a generalized Kozeny-Carman equation to predict saturated hydraulic conductivity, Ks = b??en, where b and n are constants. The entire dataset has an R2 of 0.36. When samples are grouped according to general lithology, correlations result in an R2 of 0.71 for the crystallized/vitric samples, 0.24 for samples with mineral alteration, and 0.34 for samples with microfractures, thus increasing the predictive capability over that of the total dataset. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.
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Use of porosity to estimate hydraulic properties of volcanic tuffs