ORCID Identifier(s)

ORCID 0000-0002-4782-319X

Document Type


Source Publication Title

Vadose Zone Journal

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Qinhong Hu

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Data Type

Laboratory experiments


Soil water, with adsorbed water being an important component, plays an important role in fluid flow and chemical movement in the unsaturated zone. The adsorbed water consists of water film and interlayer water, and its content is related to the relative humidity (RH). This study theoretically and experimentally focuses on the variation in adsorbed water content in clayey materials as the RH changes. Based on a slit-pore model, three types of water (water film, interlayer water, and capillary water) could be present in the water vapor adsorption process. The variation of water film is obtained from the analysis of interfacial forces, and then the total water content can be quantitatively subdivided into these three types of water for different RH values. The slit-pore adsorption model was used with experimental measurements (water vapor adsorption and N2 physisorption) to quantify the amounts and interrelationships of these three different types of water to six clayey materials, namely three clay minerals (kaolinite, montmorillonite, and illite–smectite mixed layer) and three clay-rich sediments from the Jianghan Plain in China. The main results are that (a) the volumes of water vapor adsorption are much greater than those of N2 adsorption except for kaolinite; (b) interlayer water largely dominates the growth of total water content in montmorillonite and results in a concentration of 0.090 ml g−1 at 95% RH; and (c) the minimum thickness of water film is calculated to be 0.23 nm, and the maximum value is one-third of the pore width by considering the interfacial forces.


Earth Sciences | Environmental Sciences

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.