Anisotropy in Seepage Analyses

Anisotropy in Seepage Analyses

Laboratory tests on stratified materials usually reveal values for hydraulic conductivity that are different in the horizontal and vertical directions. This can occur in lacustrine or marine deposits, or in materials compacted in layers such as in embankment dams. The higher conductivity tends to occur parallel to the
stratification. This makes the hydraulic conductivity anisotropic; that is, the conductivity is not the same in all directions. Anisotropy at the scale of laboratory tests is readily understandable. Layering can easily extend from one side of the sample to other as in illustrated in the Figure 1. The horizontal conductivity of such a sample could be significantly higher than the vertical conductivity.

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