Impact of pore water conductivity and porosity on the electrical conductivity of kaolinite

Hyunwook Choo, Jaewon Song, Woojin Lee, Changho Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study is to quantify the magnitudes of surface conduction and pore water conduction from the measured electrical conductivity of kaolinite, with the ultimate goal of estimating the electrical conductivity of kaolinite with a wide range of pore water conductivities (σw = 0.013–3.356 S/m) and porosities (n = 0.368–1.0). Therefore, the theoretical background of the electrical conductivity in soils was reviewed, and electrical conductivity measurements on kaolinite were performed using both slurry and consolidation tests in this study. The results of this study demonstrate that the variations of measured electrical conductivity (σmix) with n are debatable according to the values of σw, because a decrease in n results in both an increase in surface conduction (Ks) and a decrease in pore water conduction (Kw); this causes the relative magnitude of Ks compared to that of Kw to vary with σw and n. Consequently, this study develops the relation between the porosity-normalized Ks/Kw and 1/σw. Additionally, the surface conductivity of the tested kaolinite is back-calculated and compared with the previous relationship between Ks and zeta potential of kaolinite. The measured and estimated σmix values are compared with the varying pore water conductivity and porosity values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1419-1429
Number of pages11
JournalActa Geotechnica
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning (NRF-2015R1A2A2A01006337) and supported by a Korea University Grant.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


  • Electrical conductivity
  • Kaolinite
  • Pore water conduction
  • Pore water conductivity
  • Porosity
  • Surface conduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of pore water conductivity and porosity on the electrical conductivity of kaolinite'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this