Skip to Content

Permeability (Earth sciences)

« Back to Glossary Index

**Permeability Concepts**:
– Permeability defined as fluid flow ability in porous materials.
– Fluid flows easier through high permeability materials.
– Permeability related to porosity, pore shapes, and pressure inside material.
– Permeability units: square meter (m²), darcy (d), millidarcy (md), and square centimeter (cm²).
– Applications in hydrocarbon flow, groundwater, chemical engineering, and civil engineering.
– Permeability values range from fraction to thousands of millidarcies.
– Permeability named after Henry Darcy.
– Determined using Darcy’s law or diffusion equation.

**Hydraulic Conductivity**:
– Hydraulic conductivity (K) is a global constant for water flow.
– Permeability (k) specific to solid skeleton and microstructure.
– Consideration of fluid properties and temperature effects.
– Independent of fluid properties.
– Hydraulic permeability can be scalar or tensor-based.
– Important parameter in groundwater flow modeling.

**Fault Zone Hydrogeology**:
– Study of groundwater flow in fault zones.
– Impacts of fault structures on groundwater movement.
– Interaction between faults and aquifers.
– Influence of fault zone hydrogeology on contaminant transport.
– Research by Bense et al. (2013) in Earth-Science Reviews.

**Permeation and Related Terms**:
– Permeation: fluids passing through porous materials under pressure gradients.
– Key concept in understanding groundwater flow.
– Factors influencing permeation: pore size and fluid viscosity.
– Important in geology, engineering, and various fields.
– Relative permeability: measure of fluid flow in porous medium, crucial in multiphase flow modeling.

**Petroleum Geology and Applications**:
– Study of oil and gas origin, occurrence, and exploration.
– Understanding reservoir properties like permeability.
– Essential for locating and extracting hydrocarbons.
– Impact of permeability on reservoir productivity.
– Incorporates knowledge of rock properties and fluid flow.

Permeability in fluid mechanics and the Earth sciences (commonly symbolized as k) is a measure of the ability of a porous material (often, a rock or an unconsolidated material) to allow fluids to pass through it.

Symbol used to represent in situ permeability tests in geotechnical drawings
« Back to Glossary Index