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You are on page 1of 23

Module 1

(Lecture 3)

GEOTECHNICAL PROPERTIES OF SOIL AND OF

REINFORCED SOIL

Topics

1.1 CAPILLARY RISE IN SOIL

1.2 CONSOLIDATIONS-GENERAL

1.3 CONSOLIDATION SETTLEMENT CALCULATION

1.4 TIME RATE OF CONSOLIDATION

When a capillary tube is placed in water, the water level in the tube rises (figure 1.15a).

The rise is caused by the surface tension effect. According to figure 1.15a, the pressure at

any point A in the capillary tube (with respect to the atmospheric pressure) can be

expressed as

= (for = 0 to )

And

= 0

(for z hc )

In a given soil mass, the interconnected void spaces can behave like a number of capillary

tubes with varying diameters. The surface tension force may cause in the soil to rise

above the water table, as shown in figure 1.15b. The height the capillary rise will depend

on the diameter of the capillary tubes. The capillary rise will decrease with the increase

of the tube diameter. Because the capillary tube in soil has variable diameters, the height

of capillary rise will be nonuniformly. The pore water pressure at any point in the zone of

capillary rise in soil cause approximated as

=

[1.52]

Where

CONSOLIDATION-GENERAL

In the field, when the stress on a saturated clay layer is increased-for exam by the

construction of a foundation-the pore water pressure in the clay increase. Because the

hydraulic conductivity of clays is very small, sometime be required for the excess pore

water pressure to dissipate and the stress increase to be transferred to the soil skeleton

gradually. According to figure 1.16 if a surcharge at the ground surface over a very

large area, the increase of total structure , at any depth of the clay layer will be equal

to , or

=

However, at time = 0 (that is, immediately after the stress application), the excess pore

water pressure at any depth, , will equal , or

= 1 =

(at time = 0)

= = 0

Theoretically, at time = , when all the excess pore water pressure in the clay layer has

dissipated as a result of drainage into the sand layers,

= 0

at time = )

= = 0

This gradual increase in the effective stress in the claylayer will cause settlement over a

period of time and is referred to as consolidation.

Laboratory tests on undisturbed saturated clay specimens can be conducted (ASTM Test

Designation D-2435) to determine the consolidation settlement caused by various

incremental loadings. The test specimens are usually 2.5 in. (63.5 mm) in diameter and 1

in. (25.4 mm) in height. Specimens are placed inside a ring, with one porous stone at the

top and one at the bottom of the specimen (figure 1.17a). Load on the specimen is then

applied so that the total vertical stress is equal to . Settlement readings for the specimen

are taken for 24 hours. After that, the load on the specimen is doubled and settlement

readings are taken. At all times during the test the specimen is kept under water. This

procedure is continued until the desired limit of stress on the clay specimen is reached.

Figure 1.17 (a) Schematic diagram of consolidation test arrangement; (b) log curve

for a soft clay from East St. Louis, Illinois

Based on the laboratory tests, a graph can be plotted showing the variation of the void

ratio at the end of consolidation against the corresponding vertical stress

(semilogarithmic graph: on the arithmetic scale and on the log scale). The nature of

variation of against log for a clay specimen is shown in figure 1.17b. After the

desired consolidation pressure has been reached, the specimen can be gradually unloaded,

which will result in the swelling of the specimen. Figure 1.17b also shows the variation

of the void ratio during the unloading period.

From the log curve shown in figure 1.17b, three parameters necessary for

calculating settlement in the field can be determined.

pressure to which the soil specimen has been subjected. It can be determined by

using a simple graphical procedure as proposed by Casegrande (1936). This

procedure for determining the preconsolidation pressure, with reference to figure

1.17b, involves five steps:

a. Determine the point O on the log curve that has the sharpest curvature

(that is, the smallest radius of curvature).

b. Draw a horizontal line OA.

c. Draw a line OB that is tangent to the log curve at O.

d. Draw a line OC that bisects the angle AOB,

e. Produce the straight-line portion of the log curve backward to intersect

OC. This is point D. the pressure that corresponds to point is the

preconsolidation pressure, .

preconsolidated). If the present effective overburden pressure = is equal to the

preconsolidated pressure the soil is normally consolidated. However, if < , the

sol is overconsolidated.

Preconsolidation pressure ( ) has been correlated with the index parameters by several

investigators. Stas and Kulhawy (1984) suggested that

= 10(1.111.62)

[1.53a]

Where

= liquidity index

=

Where

= moisture content

[1.53b]

= liquid limit

= plastic limit

follows:

log =

kN/m2

kN/m2

0.188

[1.54]

Where

= void ratio

= void ratio of the soil at liquid limit

=

(%)

100

[1.55]

between , and the sensitivity of clayey soils ( ). This relationship was also

recommended by Kulhawy and Mayne (1990). The definition of sensitivity is given in

section. Figure 1.18 shows the relationship.

2. The compression index, , is the slope of straight-line portion (latter part of the

loading curve), or

2

= log 1 log

=

1 2

log 2

[1.56]

where 1 and 2 are the void ratios at the end of consolidation under stresses 1 and 2 ,

respectively

The compression index, as determined from the laboratory log curve, will be

somewhat different from that encountered in the field. The primary reason is that the soil

remolds to some degree during the field exploration. The nature of variation of the

log curve in the field for normally consolidated clay is shown in figure 1.19. It is

generally referred to as the virgin compression curve. The virgin curve approximately

intersects the laboratory curve at a void ratio of 0.42 (Terzaghi and Peck, 1967). Note

that is the void ratio of the clay in the field. Knowing the values of and you can

easily construct the virgin curve and calculate the compression index of the virgin curve

by using equation (56).

Figure 1.19 Construction of virgin compression curve for normally consolidated clay

The value of can vary widely depending on the soil. Skempton (1944) has given am

empirical correlation for the compression index in which

= 0.009( 10)

[1.57]

Where

= liquid limit

Besides Skempton, other investigators have proposed correlations for the compression

index. Some of these correlations are summarized in table 14.

3. The swelling index, , is the slope of the unloading portion of the log

curve. In figure 1.17b, it can be defined as

=

3 4

log 4

[1.58]

In most cases the value of the swelling index ( ) is 14 to 15 of the compression index.

Flowing are some representative values of / for natural soil deposits. The swelling

index is also referred to as the recompression index.

/

Description of soil

Boston Blue clay

0.24-0.33

Chicago clay

0.15-0.3

0.15-0.28

0.05-0.1

Reference

Azzouz, Krizek, and Corotis (1976)

Correlation

= 0.01

(Chicago clay)

= 0.208 + 0.0083

= 0.0115

(Chicago clay)

= 0.0046( 9)

(Brazillian clay)

Rendon-Herrero (1980)

Wroth and Wood (1978)

Leroueil, Tavenas, and LeBihan (1983)

0.14112

1 + 2.38

= 0.2343

100

= 0.5

100

= liquid limit

= plasticity index

= sensitivity

settlement of overconsolidated clays. In the field, depending on the pressure increase, an

overconsolidated clay will follow an e-log path , as shown in figure 1.20. Note that

point with coordinates of and corresponds to the field condition before any

pressure increase. Point corresponds to the preconsolidation pressure ( ) of the clay.

Line is approximately parallel to the laboratory unloading cure (Schmertmann,

1953). Hence, if you know , , , , and , you can easily construct the field

consolidation curve.

Figure 1.20 Construction of field consolidation curve for over consolidated clay

Nagaraj and Murthy (1985) expressed the swelling index as

= 0.0463 100

[1.59]

It is essential to point out that any of the empirical correlations for and given in the

section are only approximate. It may be valid for a given soil for which the relationship

was developed but may not hold good for other soils. As an example, figure 1.21 shows

the plots of and with liquid limit for soils from Richmond, Virginia (Martin et al.,

1985). For these soils,

Figure 1.21 Variation of and with liquid limit for soils from Richmond, Virginia

(after Martin et al., 1995)

= 0.0326( 43.4)

[1.60]

And

= 0.00045( + 11.9)

[1.61]

The / ratio is about 251 ; whereas, the typical range is about15 to 101 .

CONSOLIDATION SETTLEMENT CALCULATION

The one-dimensional consolidation settlement (caused by an additional load) of a clay

layer (figure 1.22a) having a thickness may be calculated as

= 1+

[1.62]

Figure 1.22 One-dimensional settlement calculation: (b) is for equation (64); (c) is for

equations (66 and 68)

Where

= settlement

= the void ratio of the clay before the application of load

Note that

1+

= = vertical strain

For normally consolidated clay, the field log curve will be like the one shown in

figure 1.22b. If = initial average effective overburden pressure on the clay layer and

= average pressure increase on the clay layer caused by the added load, the change of

void ratio caused by the load increase is

= log

[1.63]

= 1+

log

[1.64]

For overconsolidated clay, the field log curve will be like the one show figure

1.22c. In this case, depending on the value of , two conditions may at. First, if

+ < ,

= log

[1.65]

= 1+

log

[1.66]

= 1 + 2 = log + log

[1.67]

= 1+

log + 1+

log

[1.68]

In section we showed that consolidation is the result gradual dissipation of the excess

pore water pressure from a clay layer. Pore water pressure dissipation, in turn, increases

the effective stress, which induces settlement. Hence, to estimate the degree of

consolidation of a clay layer at some time t after the load application, you need to know

the rate of dissipation of the excess pore water pressure.

Figure 1.23 shows a clay layer of thickness that has highly permeable sand layers at

its top and bottom. Here, the excess pore pressure at any point at any time t after the load

application is = () . For a vertical drainage condition (that is, in the direction of z

only) from the clay layer, Terzaghi derived the following differential equation:

Figure 1.23 (a) Derivation of equation (71); (b) nature of variation of with time

()

2 ()

[1.69]

Where

= coefficient of consolidation

=

Where

(1+ )

[1.70]

= average void ratio during consolidation

Equation (69) can be solved to obtain as a function of time t with the following

boundary conditions:

1. Because highly permeable sand layers are located at = 0 and = , the excess

pore water pressure developed in the clay at those points will be immediately

dissipated. Hence

= 0 at = 0

= 0 at = = 2

Where

is, at the top and bottom of the clay)

2. At time = 0,

= = initial excess pore water pressure after the load application

With the preceding boundary conditions, equation (69) yields

=

=

2( )

[1.71]

Where

= [(2 + 1)]/2

= an integer = 1, 2,

= nondimensional time factor = ( )/ 2

[1.72]

determination of using the liquid limit (u. A. Department of the Navy, 1971).

The value of for various depths (that is, = 0 to = 2) at time given time t

(thus ) can be calculated from equation (71). The nature of this variation of

is shown in figure 1.23b.

The average degree of consolidation of the clay layer can be defined as

=

[1.73]

Where

= settlement of a clay layer at time after the load application

=

maximum consolidation settlement that the clay will undergo under given loading

If the initial pore water pressure ( ) distribution is constant with depth as

shown in figure 1.25a, the average of consolidation can also be expressed as

Figure 1.25 Drainage condition for consolidation: (a) two-way drainage; (b) oneway drainage

0 ( ) 0 ()

2

0 ( )

[1.74]

Or

=

( )20 ()

( )2

=1

0 ()

2( )

[1.75]

=

= 1

=0 2

[1.76]

The variation of with can be calculated from equation (76) and is plotted in

figure 1.26. Note that equation (76) and thus figure 1.26 are also valid when an

impermeable layer is located at the bottom of the clay layer (figure 1.25b). In that

case, excess pore water pressure dissipation can take place in one direction only.

constant)

% 2

= 4 100

(for = 0 60%)

[1.77]

[1.78]

And

Sivaram and Swamee (1977) have also developed an empirical relationship between

and that is valid for U varying from 0 to 100%. It is of the form

=

% 2

4 100

0.357

% 5.6

1

100

[1.79]

In some cases, initial excess pore water pressure may not be constant with depth as

shown in figure 1.25. Following are a few cases of those and the solutions for the average

degree of consolidation.

Trapezoidal Variation Figure 1.27 shows a trapezoidal variation of initial excess pore

water pressure with two-way drainage. For this case the variation of with will be the

same as shown in figure 1.26.

Sinusoidal Variation This variation is shown in figures 1.28a and 1.28b. For the initial

excess pore water pressure variation shown in figure 1.28a,

z

Figure 1.28 Sinusoidal initial excess pore water pressure distribution

= 2

[1.80]

= 4

[1.81]

The variations of with for these two cases are shown in figure 1.29

Figure 1.29 Variation of with sinusoidal variation of initial excess pore water

pressure distribution

Triangular Variation Figures 1.30 and 1.31 show several types of initial pore water

pressure variation and the variation of with the average degree of consolidation.

z

Figure 1.30 Variation of with triangular initial excess pore water pressure

distribution

with

Example 9

A laboratory consolidation test on normally consolidated clay showed the following

Load, (kN/m2 )

140

0.92

212

0.86

The specimen tested was 25.4 mm in thickness and drained on both sides. The time

required for the specimen to reach 50% consolidation was 4.5 min.

A similar clay layer in the field, 2.8 m thick and drained on both sides, is subjected to

similar average pressure increase (that is, = 140 kN/m2 and po + p = 212kN/m2 ).

Determine the

a. Expected maximum consolidation settlement in the field

b. Length of time required for the total settlement in the field to reach 40 mm

(assume uniform initial excess pore water pressure increase with depth)

Solution

Part a

For normally consolidated clay [equation 56]

=

1 2

2

1

0.920.86

= 1+

Part b

212

140

= 0.333

(0.333)(2.8)

1+0.92

212

=

40

From equation (72)

=

For 50% consolidation (figure 1.26), = 0.197, = 4.5 min, and = /2 =

12.7 mm, so

= 50

(0.197)(12.7)2

4.5

% 2

45.7 2

But

=

Or

0.164

2.81000 2

7.061

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