Modern sonic logging tools designed for shallow environmental and engineering applications allow for P-wave phase velocity measurements over a wide frequency band. Methodological considerations indicate that, for saturated unconsolidated sediments in the silt to sand range and source frequencies ranging from approximately 1 to 30 kHz, the observable poro-elastic P-wave velocity dispersion is sufficiently pronounced to allow for reliable first-order estimations of the underlying permeability structure. These predictions have been tested on and verified for a surficial alluvial aquifer. Our results indicate that, even without any further calibration, the thus obtained permeability estimates as well as their variabilities within the pertinent lithological units are remarkably close to those expected based on the corresponding granulometric characteristics.


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