Di Liu, Min-jie Lian, Cai-wu Lu, and Wen Zhang, Effect of the lenticles on moisture migration in capillary zone of tailings dam, Int. J. Miner. Metall. Mater., 27(2020), No. 8, pp. 1036-1045. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12613-020-1963-x
Cite this article as:
Di Liu, Min-jie Lian, Cai-wu Lu, and Wen Zhang, Effect of the lenticles on moisture migration in capillary zone of tailings dam, Int. J. Miner. Metall. Mater., 27(2020), No. 8, pp. 1036-1045. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12613-020-1963-x
Research Article

Effect of the lenticles on moisture migration in capillary zone of tailings dam

+ Author Affiliations
  • Corresponding author:

    Di Liu    E-mail: safety_ld2010@126.com

  • Received: 5 October 2019Revised: 26 November 2019Accepted: 11 December 2019Available online: 8 January 2020
  • Small-particle interlayers (lenticles) show some characteristic hydraulic properties and can affect the movement of unsaturated water. In this study, we developed a novel online capillary-water-absorption monitoring device and conducted three groups of comparison tests to simulate lenticle positions and thicknesses with respect to the capillary rise. The results show that the characteristic wetting front exhibits a fast rise in the early stage, a slow rise in the middle stage, and stability in the later stage. The motion of the capillary water in the lenticle is mainly transversal, with the upward curve being “flat,” and the longer is “flat,” the longer is the time needed for the water to move. The interlayer can form a capillary stagnation zone with moisture content close to saturation. The high interlayer may form a discontinuous corrugated capillary zone. Thus, when the wetting front reaches the “coarse-grain (lower)−fine-grain (upper)” interface, the “anti-capillary barrier effect” results in more moisture in the upper layer. Thus, when the wetting front of the capillary water reaches the “fine-grain (upper)−coarse-grain (lower)” interface, the “capillary barrier effect” causes the moisture content of the upper tailings to decreases sharply because of the horizontal movement of the water in the fine medium. It is clear that the presence of lenticles can retard the rise of capillary water by storing water.
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