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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 537387, 15 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/537387
Research Article

Reconsideration at Field Scale of the Relationship between Hydraulic Conductivity and Porosity: The Case of a Sandy Aquifer in South Italy

Department of Civil Engineering, University of Calabria, 87036 Rende, Italy

Received 16 January 2014; Accepted 7 July 2014; Published 7 August 2014

Academic Editor: Bin Lin

Copyright © 2014 Carmine Fallico. 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.

Abstract

To describe flow or transport phenomena in porous media, relations between aquifer hydraulic conductivity and effective porosity can prove useful, avoiding the need to perform expensive and time consuming measurements. The practical applications generally require the determination of this parameter at field scale, while most of the empirical and semiempirical formulas, based on grain size analysis and allowing determination of the hydraulic conductivity from the porosity, are related to the laboratory scale and thus are not representative of the aquifer volumes to which one refers. Therefore, following the grain size distribution methodology, a new experimental relation between hydraulic conductivity and effective porosity, representative of aquifer volumes at field scale, is given for a confined aquifer. The experimental values used to determine this law were obtained for both parameters using only field measurements methods. The experimental results found, also if in the strict sense valid only for the investigated aquifer, can give useful suggestions for other alluvial aquifers with analogous characteristics of grain-size distribution. Limited to the investigated range, a useful comparison with the best known empirical formulas based on grain size analysis was carried out. The experimental data allowed also investigation of the existence of a scaling behaviour for both parameters considered.