Statistics-based method for determination of drag coefficient for nonlinear porous flow in calcareous sand soil

  • Jianhong YeEmail author
  • Zaohui Zhang
  • Jipeng Shan
Original Paper


Generally, drag force applied by soil particles to seeping pore water is described as a type of body force in the form of hydraulic gradient I. For steady porous flow, the hydraulic gradient was widely formulated by the Forchheimer equation, containing two Forchheimer drag coefficients a and b. In this study, a simple and novel experimental device is designated to study the seepage characteristics of pore water in soils. Taking the calcareous sand soil coming from the South China Sea (SCS) as a typical porous medium, three parallel tests of seepage flow are performed. Based on the experimental data of apparent speed u of pore water and corresponding hydraulic gradient I, a statistic-based methodology is proposed to determine drag coefficients a, b of SCS calcareous sand soil. The priority of the proposed methodology is that the statistic distribution of measured parameters can be clearly observed through a small number of tests. Comparative study shows that the drag coefficient a and b of SCS calcareous sand soil determined by the statistic-based method proposed in this study can perfectly describe the corresponding experimental data of u-I relationship. It is indicated that the proposed statistics-based methodology to determine drag coefficient of soil is reliable and feasible.


South China Sea Calcareous sand soil Nonlinear porous flow Forchheimer drag coefficient Statistical theory Coral reef 



This work is grateful for the funding support from the “Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences”, Grant No. XDA13010202, as well as the funding support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, Grant No. 41472291.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Geomechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Institute of Rock and Soil MechanicsChinese Academy of SciencesWuhanChina
  2. 2.Wuhan University of TechnologyWuhanChina

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