Electro-osmotic pore pressures in soil due to an alternating electrical field

J. Yin*, J. R. Feldkamp, K. Y. Chung, R. J. Finno

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Pore pressure development in a soil specimen due to electro-osmosis under alternating current conditions is examined theoretically. Solutions to the governing equation are derived for one-dimensional flow with boundary conditions corresponding to an impervious (conventional no-flow boundary), a partially drained boundary, and a partially drained boundary with an intervening permeable zone between the boundary and the soil. These latter two boundary conditions can arise from details of pore pressure measuring systems at the specimen boundaries during laboratory experiments. An analysis of the solutions indicates that for a perfect no-flow boundary, excess pore pressures measured at an electrode consist of a steady state and rapidly-decaying transient response. The pore pressures exhibit a 45 degree phase shift relative to the applied electric current. The effect of the partially drained boundary is to reduce the peak to peak amplitude of the pore pressure and to increase the phase shift to as much as 90 degrees depending on the compressibility of the pore pressure measuring system. The effect of the impeded and partially drained boundary is to further reduce the amplitude of the pore pressures and to increase the phase shift to as much as 180 degrees depending on the relative permeability of the impeded boundary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-63
Number of pages27
JournalTransport in Porous Media
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1995


  • Electro-osmosis
  • alternating current
  • analytical solutions
  • coupled flow
  • numerical solutions
  • pore water pressure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemical Engineering


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