Review of the Characterization of Geotextile Hydraulic Behavior


Geotextiles have been widely used in soil structures such as road, embankment and reservoir as a drainage material. The aim of this paper is to give a comprehensive review of the characterization of geotextile hydraulic behavior in the past and present. The review includes the wetting and wicking theories, the hydraulic behavior characterization techniques, and the application of unsaturated soil mechanics in geotextile hydraulic behavior. Wetting and wicking are two coupled phenomena that drive the liquid to flow in geotextiles. Capillary pressure and permeability are two major parameters to characterize geotextile hydraulic behavior. The upward-horizontal-downward (UHD) characterization method can be used to quantify those parameters. However, the geotextile may not drain the water as originally expected under unsaturated conditions. Unsaturated soil theory provides as an effective tool to explain and evaluate the hydraulic behavior of geotextile in unsaturated condition. Unsaturated geotextiles not only can serve as drainage material (within transient stage), but also as capillary barrier (within boundary effect and residual stages).

Meeting Name

2015 International Symposium on Systematic Approaches to Environmental Sustainability in Transportation (2015: Aug. 2-5, Fairbanks, AK)


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Geotextiles; Materials handling; Parameter estimation; Reservoirs (water); Soil mechanics; Soils; Sustainable development; Transportation; Wetting; Capillary barriers; Characterization methods; Characterization techniques; Coupled phenomena; Drainage materials; Hydraulic behavior; Unsaturated condition; Unsaturated soil mechanics; Characterization

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2015 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Aug 2015