Simple Predictive Models for Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity of Technosands

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Accurate estimation of saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) of technosands (gravel-free, coarse sands with negligible organic matter content) is important for irrigation and drainage management of athletic fields and golf courses. In this study, we developed two simple models for predicting Ks of technosands based on either (i) the classic Kozeny-Carman (K-C) model modified by considering the content of finer particles (fines) less than 200 μm to estimate an immobile water fraction or (ii) the Revil-Cathles (R-C) model modified by using the characteristic particle diameter from the Rosin-Rammler particle size distribution (PSD) function. The Ks and PSD data of 14 golf course sands from literature as well as newly measured data for a size fraction of Lunar Regolith Simulant, packed at three different dry bulk densities, were used for model evaluation. The pore network tortuosity-connectivity parameter (m) obtained for pure coarse sand after fitting to measured Ks data was 1.68 for both models and in good agreement with m values obtained from recent solute and gas diffusion studies. Both the modified K-C and R-C models are easy to use and require limited parameter input, and both models gave comparable accuracy as more complex Ks models. The models are therefore recommended for preliminary assessment and design of technosand layers, for example, with regard to selecting sand PSD for optimal hydrological performance at athletic fields or golf courses.

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