Soil siphoning

Soil siphoning

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Siphoning, a phenomenon that affects rivers but not only, and can have really unpleasant consequences, causing disasters. IS' caused by the vertical rise of fluid in a soil that is unable to oppose this thrust. Let's imagine what can happen ... and let's see it in facts in the next paragraphs.

Siphoning: geotechnics

It is certainly not a common topic of conversation and perhaps not even one of those phenomena that are studied at school and then they forget over the years if you choose non-similar subjects. Siphoning is familiar to anyone who deals with geotechnics, the others perhaps know the consequences but not the mechanism and the causes.

It has to do with the filtration, this phenomenon, and it changes the pressure regime with respect to the hydrostatic thrust. Siphoning occurs when there is a certain pressure difference between the upstream and downstream parts of a support structure. It is easy to imagine, even if you are not an expert in geotechnics, that the result is a flood.

The most superficial layers are broken, sometimes even the deepest ones break and the support works no longer support anything, they are damaged, sometimes even destroyed.

Siphoning: check

There are contexts in which this disastrous phenomenon it happens more likely than in others. When you are making one excavation, protected by a diaphragm, under the free surface of the aquifer, what can happen is that a thin "plug" is created at the base and that the groundwater begins to press upwards.

Let's imagine one bottle of sparkling wine... when it "explodes" by surprise it floods all the guests at the party, right?

These situations can to some extent be foreseen by the designer who follows the excavation and who can make some checks so that the siphon does not happen. It is a question of safety in the execution of a support work, there are rules and guidelines about that "the technicians" know.

It is important to avoid that the water gets to press so hard on the cork that has been created and that, after the tightness limit, is able with his power to lift the ground. At that point it would be one real flood.

Siphoning: bulkhead

The further problem of siphoning lies in the fact that it is a self-feeding phenomenon: as the water escapes, the ground loses tightness and the support structure is damaged more and more.

What you can do is build one sort of non-total barrier but partial, with gods bags full of sand placed where the water manages to escape. This means that the flow is not suddenly and completely blocked but its pressure can decrease, having a way of venting, without causing disasters. If you do it right you can bring the system back to a stable condition.

Siphon: embankment

For rivers, which we mentioned in the introduction, we speak of siphoning to describe the situation in which a progressive occurs removal of material from the embankment due to erosion by filtering fluids emerging from the ground on the countryside side. THE fountains near the embankments are one of evidence of siphoning.

Siphon in English

It is not very different from the Italian term, the English one, as often happens when entering technical fields. In English we speak of "edil siphoning“.

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Video: How To Make a Self-Starting Siphon (May 2022).