Tuesday, November 14, 2006 - 7:35 PM

Relationship between Air-Water Interfacial Area and Water Saturation for Sandy Porous Media.

Mark Brusseau, Greg Schnaar, Sheng Peng, and Justin Marble. Univ of Arizona, 429 Shantz, Tucson, AZ 85721

The relationship between air-water interfacial area and water saturation was investigated for two natural porous media.  Air-water interfacial areas as a function of water saturation were measured using synchrotron X-ray microtomography, which can be used to determine both capillary-associated and total areas.  Total air-water interfacial areas increased continuously with decreasing water saturation.  Conversely, capillary-associated interfacial areas first increased and then decreased with water saturation.  Interfacial areas obtained from the microtomography method were compared to values obtained with gas-phase and aqueous-phase partitioning tracer tests.