Gas permeability in soils as related to soil structure and pore system characteristics

Tjalfe G. Poulsen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This chapter presents current knowledge with respect to gas permeability and its relation to soil pore system structure. The presentation is based on a review of the existing literature in the field. Soils are characterized as having (i) a stable and well-connected pore system, (ii) a stable but poorly connected pore system, and (iii) an unstable pore system. The behavior of gas permeability in soils belonging to each of these three types is distinctly different and, therefore, allows for characterization of the pore network structure based on measurements of gas permeability in combination with volumetric air and water contents in the soil. The relation between gas permeability air and water content and pore system characteristics is described and discussed for all three cases based on measured gas permeability data for a variety of soils and other porous materials taken from the existing literature. Mathematical expressions describing the behavior of gas permeability in relation to pore system structure are also presented and their application to the data discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQuantifying and Modeling Soil Structure Dynamics
Number of pages31
ISBN (Electronic)9780891189572
ISBN (Print)9780891189565
StatePublished - 26 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Gas flow data
  • Gas permeability
  • Gas-filled porosity
  • Soil pore system characteristics
  • Soil structure
  • Stable poorly connected pore system
  • Stable well-connected pore system
  • Unstable pore system

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