U.S. EPA Contaminated Site Cleanup Information (CLU-IN)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. EPA Technology Innovation and Field Services Division

Environmental Geophysics


Density, s, is the intrinsic unit mass of a material, defined as the mass of one cubic meter with units of kilograms per cubic meter (kg/m3).  However, the old cgs units of grams-per-cubic-centimeter are still widely used.  One gm/cc is equivalent to1,000 kg/m3.

Porosity, saturation, and density are related as a function of porosity F as:

Equation 1                                                                (1)


Figure 1.Density ranges in common materials.

in which subscripts f and m refer to the formation and the matrix, respectively, and S is the fractional water saturation.  A water density of 1,000 kg/m3 is assumed.  Figure 1 shows the density ranges of common materials.


The pages found under Properties are substantially based on a report produced by the United States Department of Transportation:

Wightman, W. E., Jalinoos, F., Sirles, P., and Hanna, K. (2003). "Application of Geophysical Methods to Highway Related Problems." Federal Highway Administration, Central Federal Lands Highway Division, Lakewood, CO, Publication No. FHWA-IF-04-021, September 2003.


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