Clay membranes are clay-rich media (soils, sediments, or sedimentary rocks) that exhibit partial restriction of solute migration relative to that of water, i.e., semipermeable membrane properties.
Clay membrane properties have the potential to significantly modulate the groundwater hydrology of clay-rich media, at least in some cases. They have been studied as a potential cause of erratic fluid pressures in sedimentary formations and, also, because of their potential impacts on well-bore stability, chemico-osmotic consolidation, water and nutrient fluxes in soils, and waste isolation using natural and engineered clay barriers (Takeda et al. 2014).
Clay membranes give rise to two geochemical phenomena: hyperfiltration and osmosis. Hyperfiltration occurs when a hydraulic pressure gradient drives water flow across a clay membrane. For solutes that exhibit restricted migration through the membrane, the solute concentration of the permeate is...
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