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Compare how porous and permeable different materials are.

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Introduction

Definitions: Porosity: Porosity is the percentage of the total volume of rock consisting of voids. Volume of pore space Total volume of rock Permeability: Permeability is the ability for a fluid to pass from one pore space to another. Examples: Clay is a highly porous rock but it has a low permeability as the pore spaces a resistant to fluid movement, limestone however may become very permeable because water enlarges cavities. Igneous rocks are not porous or permeable unless it contains fissures. Aim: To compare how porous and permeable different materials are. Hypothesis: * Materials with bigger pore spaces will have greater porosity. * Porosity is reduced by the presence of small grains between the larger ones. * There will be no difference in the porosity of different materials. * The materials with larger pore spaces will be more permeable than materials with smaller pore spaces. * All materials will have the same permeability Method: Porosity Experiment: This experiment was created to test the first and third hypotheses using analogous materials instead of porous rock this was because rock may already be wet so a lot of time would be spent drying out the rock, also the water is visible in the pore spaces so it was known in 10 minutes how much water had gone into the pore spaces. ...read more.

Middle

Above the water table lies the unsaturated zone. Here the spaces in the rock and soil contain both air and water. The entire region below the water table is called the saturated zone, and water in this saturated zone is called groundwater. Aquifer: Although groundwater exists everywhere under the ground, some parts of the saturated zone contain more water than others. An aquifer is an underground formation of permeable rock or loose material that can produce useful quantities of water when tapped by a well. Aquifers come in all sizes. They may be small or very large, underlying thousands of square kilometres of the earth's surface. They may be only a few metres thick, or they may measure hundreds of metres from top to bottom. Aquicludes - are confined aquifers that are sandwiched between two beds of impermeable rock. Springs: Springs occur where the water table meets the grounds surface. This often happened where the water table has been deflected to the surface by the presence of an impermeable rock. Oil Reservoir rocks: It is economically unfriendly for humans to extract oil and gas unless substantial amounts are trapped in reservoirs. An oil reservoir is a rock with many pores that can hold liquids. ...read more.

Conclusion

Permeability: From the permeability experiment it is suggested that the larger the 'grain size' of the analogous material the higher the permeability. This experiment this agrees with the fourth hypothesis, 'the materials with larger pore spaces will be more permeable' Evaluation: Porosity: The porosity experiment could have been improved by leaving the water longer than 10 minutes although the time the water was left meant that some of the analogous materials might absorb the water. Also there may have been air pockets in the materials causing the water not to fill some spaces. This would mean that the measurement wasn't accurate. To make the experiment stronger a control experiment could have been used. The strengths of this experiment are: there was the same amount of material and water to keep the results fair and as accurate as possible. Permeability: The permeability experiment could be improved by using porous rocks instead on analogous materials, and also the range of analogous materials could be used i.e. they could have been a mix of large and small 'grain sizes e.g. Peas and rice mixed together. The material may have absorbed water so that it wasn't all passing through the pore spaces. To make the experiment better a wider range of materials could be used and a wider variety of 'grain' sizes. ...read more.

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