In this chapter we will examine those properties of fluids and porous media which control the direction and rate of flow of fluids through sediments. There are many different ways in which this subject can be appoached. I have chosen here simply to start with the most general form of Darcy's law, a form which can be used to analyze flow in variable density fluid systems, and systematically discuss the meaning of each of the terms which makes up the expression. For alternative and more complete discussions see such texts as Dominico (1972) and Freeze and Cherry (1979).
An analysis of multiphase fluid flow, that is, the simultaneous flow of water, oil, and gas through sediments, would be useful, but is beyond the scope of this course. See Hubbert (1953), Marle (1981), and Dahlberg (1982) for an introduction to this subject.
Figures & Tables
The topics covered in these notes have been selected to provide the general sedimentary geologist with an introduction to some of the key problems and a conversational familiarity with some of the basic techniques in this important area of sedimentary geology. A number of field examples are drawn from the Louisiana Gulf Coast, buy many of the general principles will be applicable to other areas and problems.