Pedotransfer functions for permeability: A computational study at pore scales

Jeffrey D. Hyman, Piotr K. Smolarkiewicz, C. Larrabee Winter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Three phenomenological power law models for the permeability of porous media are derived from computational experiments with flow through explicit pore spaces. The pore spaces are represented by three-dimensional pore networks in 63 virtual porous media along with 15 physical pore networks. The power laws relate permeability to (i) porosity, (ii) squared mean hydraulic radius of pores, and (iii) their product. Their performance is compared to estimates derived via the Kozeny equation, which also uses the product of porosity with squared mean hydraulic pore radius to estimate permeability. The power laws provide tighter estimates than the Kozeny equation even after adjusting for the extra parameter they each require. The best fit is with the power law based on the Kozeny predictor, that is, the product of porosity with the square of mean hydraulic pore radius.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2080-2092
Number of pages13
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2013


  • Darcy law
  • Konezy-Carman equation
  • pedotransfer function
  • permeability
  • pore scale

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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