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International Journal of Geophysics
Volume 2012, Article ID 728495, 17 pages
Research Article

Frequency-Dependent Streaming Potential of Porous Media—Part 2: Experimental Measurement of Unconsolidated Materials

1Department of Geology and Engineering Geology, Laval University, Québec City, QC, Canada G1K 7P4
2Department of Mechanical Engineering, Laval University, Québec City, QC, Canada G1K 7P4

Received 3 June 2011; Revised 1 November 2011; Accepted 12 December 2011

Academic Editor: Tsuneo Ishido

Copyright © 2012 P. W. J. Glover et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Frequency-dependent streaming potential coefficient measurements have been made upon Ottawa sand and glass bead packs using a new apparatus that is based on an electromagnetic drive. The apparatus operates in the range 1 Hz to 1 kHz with samples of 25.4 mm diameter up to 150 mm long. The results have been analysed using theoretical models that are either (i) based upon vibrational mechanics, (ii) treat the geological material as a bundle of capillary tubes, or (iii) treat the material as a porous medium. The best fit was provided by the Pride model and its simplification, which is satisfying as this model was conceived for porous media rather than capillary tube bundles. Values for the transition frequency were derived from each of the models for each sample and were found to be in good agreement with those expected from the independently measured effective pore radius of each material. The fit to the Pride model for all four samples was also found to be consistent with the independently measured steady-state permeability, while the value of the streaming potential coefficient in the low-frequency limit was found to be in good agreement with other steady-state streaming potential coefficient data.