WATER SATURATION of the rocks (EN: water saturation of rock; DE: Wassersattigung der Gesteine; FR: saturation des roches en eau; ES: saturacion de las rocas en agua; RU: водонасыщенность) is the degree of the filling of the pore space, voids, and cracks within the rocks with the water.
The water saturation under the natural conditions corresponds to the humidity of the rocks, while the maximal water saturation of the rocks is determined by their complete moisture capacity (which is achieved using the methods of the compulsory pumping of the water through the rocks and so on). They define the coefficient of the water saturation as the ratio of the mass of the water, which is saturating the rock at the usual temperature and pressure, to the mass of the absorbed water, which is injected into the rock at the pressure of up to 1.5 • 10^7 pascals. Kvn < 0.5 for the air-dry rocks, 0.5-0.8 for the humid rocks, 1.0 for the completely water saturated rocks.
The water saturation depends on the hydrogeological regime, on the mineral composition, on the character of the pore space, on the quantity of the pores (see the Figure), and so on. Within the petroleum-and-gas containing regions, the water saturation predetermines the character of the distribution of the fluids within the rocks, their mobility within the massifs, the effectiveness of the extraction of the petroleum and gas from the rocks.
The water saturation is used for the indirect characterization of the frost resistance of the rocky and semi-rocky rocks, and of the ability of the useful minerals to freeze together as a whole during the winter period.
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