Laboratory Filter Paper Suction Measurements

Results of filter paper measurements for both matric and total suction values are reported for a sand, silt, and clay. Calibration curves for the matric and total suction are given for the filter paper used in this study, and comparisons with the results of several other researchers are made. For low suction values, the matric suction is more easily measured than the total suction using the filter paper method. This difference is due primarily to the insensitivity of the water content of the noncontact filter paper to changes in suction when the suction is low. A pressure membrane, saturated salt solutions, and tensiometers were used in developing the filter paper calibration curves. Potential pitfalls in making filter paper measurements and limitations of the method are discussed. A procedure for obtaining filter paper suction measurements is given.

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