Lugeon Tests at Partial Saturation: Experimental and Empirical Contributions

B. R Jones, J.L van Rooy and M.A Dippenaar. September 2018.

Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering.

Implications of improved understanding of variably saturated flow are numerous, especially given the complexity, heterogeneity, and anisotropy of the intermediate fractured vadose zone. One such an implication is the quantification of water movement for engineering purposes, as flow-through unsaturated discontinuities cannot be quantified through commonly applied saturated approaches.

In-situ GEOTEChnical


Hydraulic Conductivity


Lugeon test at Partial Saturation

To assess these non-linear results, the Forchheimer relationship was used to predict the flow rate at the imposed hydraulic heads. As the width of the fracture could not be used as input into the equation, due to the lack of saturation across its width, the width of the flow path was used instead. 

Key Words: 

Forchheimer equation, Reynolds number, Water pressure test, Geotechnical centrifuge, Flow mechanism, Unsaturated Packer