Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH, VOL. 36, NO. 9, PAGES 2433-2442, SEPTEMBER 2000


Minipermeameters are rapidly becoming a popular tool for collecting localized
measurements of permeability in both laboratory and field studies. While one of the main advantages of minipermeameters is their ability to collect data on various support volumes, there have been only limited attempts to analyze their size and geometry. We define the support volume of minipermeameter measurements as a region containing 90% of the total gas flow, i.e., a region bounded by the 10% streamline. Using our new semianalytical solutions for the Stokes' stream function, we demonstrate that the support volume has a shape of the semitoroid adjacent to the sample surface. Hence there is a blind spot directly below the minipermeameter, which is not probed by the measurement. We demonstrate that the support volume of the minipermeameter measurements decreases with the tip-seal's ratio (a ratio of the inner tip-seal radius to the outer tip-seal radius), while the size of the corresponding blind spot increases.