Time-varying characteristics on migration and loss of fine particles in fractured mudstone under water flow scour

  • Luzhen Wang
  • Hailing KongEmail author
  • Chengchun Qiu
  • Bing Xu
Original Paper


It is very common in geotechnical engineering with Karst geological conditions that the fine particles migrate and lose continuously with water flow in the fractured rock mass, which will lead to the water-mud-inrush accident. In this paper, the time-varying characteristics of fine particles’ migration and loss in fractured mudstone under water flow scour were investigated experimentally and theoretically. Considering the continuous gradation of fractured mudstone, taking Talbot power exponent as the influencing factor, the time-varying features of the total lost mass were described. Based on the total lost mass, the mass-loss rate and the mass-migration rate of fine particles were proposed, and their time-varying features were compared and analyzed. The loss-migration-ratio was defined, and the water-mud-inrush risk was assessed by the relationships between loss-migration-ratio and time. The research showed that (1) the lost mass resulted from the fine particles’ migration, and the migrated mass was affected not only by lost fine particles but also by the water flow velocity. The rules of the fine particles’ migration and loss in the fractured mudstone had the non-linear and time-varying characteristics. (2) For samples with the smaller Talbot power exponent of n = 0.1–0.5, the fine particles splashing phenomenon occurred, and quite a lot of migrated fine particles were lost. The loss-migration-ratio attenuated with time by a power function. Fractured mudstone with this continuous gradation had a high water-mud-inrush risk. (3) For samples with n = 0.6–1.0, large numbers of fine particles migrated with water flow, but only a few rushed out from the fractured mudstone. The loss-migration-ratio attenuated with time by an exponent function. Fractured mudstone with this continuous gradation had a stable inner structure; therefore, the water-mud-inrush risk was very low. The results will help geotechnical practitioners to assess the water-mud-inrush risk and provide some references for the water-mud-inrush accidents prevention in geotechnical engineering with Karst geological conditions.


Fractured mudstone Fine particles Migration and loss Talbot power exponent Mass-loss rate Mass-migration rate 



The radius of the cylinder of the permeameter (L)

a1, a2, b1, b2

Coefficients (−)


The particle diameter of the current fractured mudstone (L)


The maximum particle diameter of fractured mudstone (L)


The loose height of the fractured mudstone in the cylinder (L)


Mass of fine particles (M)


Total lost mass (M)


Total lost mass in the inrush mass loss stage (M)


Final total lost mass (M)


Total lost mass in the rapid mass loss stage (M)


Total mass of fractured mudstone (M)


Mass of fractured mudstone with particles diameters no greater than d (M)


Talbot power exponent (−)


Percentage of the mass of the particle whose diameter is less than d (−)


The percentage that mli accounts for mlf (−)


The percentage that mlraccounts for mlf(−)


Mass-loss rate (MT−1 L−3)


The maximum value of the mass-loss rate (MT−1 L−3)


Mass-migration rate (MT−1 L−3)


The maximum value of the mass-migration rate (MT−1 L−3)


Water flow scour rate (MT−1 L−3)


Water flow time (T)


Water flow velocity (LT−1)


Fine particles’ migration velocity (LT−1)


Normal volume of the fractured mudstone at the loose state in the cylinder (L3)


Mass concentration of the fine particles in the pore of fractured mudstone (ML−3)


Mass of lost fine particles in the collection time Δti (M)


Collection time of the lost fine particles (T)


Loss-migration-ratio (−)


Funding information

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Fund (11502229, 51808481), the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province of China (BK20160433), the Outstanding Young Backbone Teacher of QingLan Project in Jiangsu Province (2016), the Program of Outstanding Young Scholars in Yancheng Institute of Technology (2014), the Program of Yellow Sea Elite in Yancheng Institute of Technology (2019) and College Students’ Innovation and Entrepreneurship Training Program (2018).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Civil EngineeringYancheng Institute of TechnologyYanchengChina

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