Permeability (earth sciences)

Permeability in fluid mechanics and the earth sciences (commonly symbolized as κ, or k) is a measure of the ability of a porous material (often, a rock or an unconsolidated material) to allow fluids to pass through it.

The permeability of a medium is related to the porosity, but also to the shapes of the pores in the medium and their level of connectedness.


Permeability is the property of rocks that is an indication of the ability for fluids (gas or liquid) to flow through rocks. High permeability will allow fluids to move rapidly through rocks. Permeability is affected by the pressure in a rock. The unit of measure is called the darcy, named after Henry Darcy (1803-1858). Sandstones may vary in permeability from less than one to over 50,000 millidarcys (md). Permeabilities are more commonly in the range of tens to hundreds of millidarcies. A rock with 25% porosity and a permeability of 1 md will not yield a significant flow of water. Such “tight” rocks are usually artificially stimulated (fractured or acidized) to create permeability and yield a flow.

Latest News for: Soil permeability


County in NW China's Ningxia taps saline-alkali land to develop thriving goji berry industry

People Daily 17 May 2024
According to Wang Xuejun, technical manager of the company's planting base, the team began using locally sourced corn stalks and cattle manure to increase the content of organic matter while reducing salt content in the soil and laying a layer of coarse sand to enhance the air permeability of the soil in March 2021....

Recycled products shatter old ideas about ceramic waste

People Daily 17 May 2024
"The recycled brick's standout features are not only its great water permeability, but also its water storage capacity," said Yin ... Pavers laid on city streets use cement, which prevents rainwater from seeping into the soil, Yin said. However, if permeable eco-friendly bricks are ......

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