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Proceedings of the 19th Southeast Asian
Geotechnical Conference & 2nd AGSSEA

Conference Paper · May 2016


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Multimedia University Universiti Teknologi Malaysia


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C. 19th Southeast Asian Geotechnical Conference & 2nd AGSSEA Conference (19SEAGC & 2AGSSEA) Kuala Lumpur 31 May – 3 June 2016 Some Geotechnical Properties of Tokai Clay P.T. R. it is prudent to have fundamental understanding on soft clay in order to prevent costly and time consuming remedial works. empirical correlation. Universiti Teknologi ABSTRACT: Series of subsurface investigation including in-situ and laboratory tests have been carefully planned and carried out for the design of embankments of Electrified Double Track over soft clay at Tokai. KEYWORDS: Soft clay.googlemaps.L. The soft clay is termed as Tokai Clay in this paper. During construction of the Electrified Double Track railway project across Northern region of Malaysia. Interpretation of engineering properties of Tokai Clay was carried out and correlations of vital properties such as undrained shear strength and compressibility parameters are established from both Figure 1 Location Plan of Tokai in Peninsular Malaysia (Image from laboratory and in-situ testing for easy reference in the future for www. 2. and Northern region of Peninsular Malaysia. Kedah. 2004. Kedah. correlations involving the piezocone were also systematically derived from high quality field data. GEOLOGICAL FORMATION Alluvium The proposed Electrified Double Track is located at Peninsular (Soft & Malaysia and stretches from Ipoh to Padang Besar with a total track Compressible length of 329 km. Some important correlations have been established for key engineering properties such as compressibility and undrained shear strength parameters from good quality field and laboratory data. a rather homogeneous subsoil layer consisting of 15m of Tokai soft clay was encountered at Tokai. INTRODUCTION Figure 3 shows that the unit weight of Tokai Clay for top 12m is in the range of 12kN/m3 to 14kN/m3. This paper describes the utilised approach in characterising and developing a fundamental understanding of the Tokai Clay. piezocone. Malaysia E-mail: ptlee@gnpgroup. A correlation between physical soil properties with undrained shear strength from field vane shear test (su(fv)) and laboratory consolidation tests are established for practical usages in the geotechnical design. the area Marine Clay) of focus in this paper. Kuala Lumpur. field vane shear 1. NAZIR2 1 G&P Geotechnics Sdn. The subsoil of Tokai is relatively homogenous consisting of very soft to soft CLAY (15m thick) overlying dense silty SAND Site Double Track to SAND. Alignment (Tokai) 3. Johor Bahru. infrastructure weight encounters by past researchers for soft clay at Peninsular development such as highway or railway interlinking the Southern Malaysia as summarised by Saiful Azhar. Soft clay is classified as clay with undrained shear strength less than 25kPa according to Brand & Brenner (1981) and the lack of understanding on the in-situ behavior of this thick layer of soft alluvium subsoil might result in unsafe and less optimum design. Figure 1 indicates the location of Tokai. Bhd. Generally. B. SUBSOIL PROPERTIES OF TOKAI CLAY 3. Alluvium consists mainly of coastal plain marine deposits and the fluviatile deposits in main river valleys.TAN1. Kedah. Tokai is underlain by the Alluvium formation as shown in Figure 2 and the age of Alluvium is development at this area. construction of such infrastructure would impose certain challenges to engineer especially when predicting the pre & post construction behavior of subsoil without established data. Y. However. Therefore. Basically. Kedah. which started in year LIM1. undrained shear strength.1 Basic Soil Properties 399 . This coincides with those unit With the ever-growing economic activity in Malaysia. is deemed to be important in cultivating the industry. In addition. Malaysia 2 Faculty of Civil Engineering. A series of subsurface investigation consisting of in-situ and laboratory testing was planned and executed in details to study the geotechnical properties of the overburden soft clay at Tokai.LEE1. settlement and stability are the 2 major issues for embankment constructed over soft clay..

after that the subsoil will It can be observed from Figure 4 that the CR of Tokai gain in strength with time when the excess pore pressure dissipates. Department of Mineral and Geoscience Malaysia) 0 0 2 5 4 6 Depth. Therefore. Cr is defined the same as Cc as Thus. In view of low permeability of soft portion of oedometer test. soft clay is located at low lying or flood prone area. compression ratio (CR). challenges once the subsoil is loaded by the fill. Besides. (2003) for Klang Clay. the RR ranges from 0. filling is inevitable in order to achieve the required designed elaborated in previous section except that it applies to the reloading platform level to prevent flood. are potent characteristic of soft clay. The relationship between Cc and natural void ratio is shown in Figure 6 and demonstrated by the below empirical equation Eq. attempts to correlates the water content with Cc has been done by Tan et al. OCR of Tokai Clay decreases with increasing depth and ranges from 4. Often.6. the main problems in design of embankment direction (cv) are vital to facilitate settlement analyses. interpretations on compressibility parameters such 4. the correlations also similar to the linear correlation derived 3.02 0.5 0. (3): suggested by Hussein (1995) for West Coast Peninsular’s soft clay that ranges from 40% to 125%.02 to 0. The observed trend is in conjunction with conclusion drew by From the empirical correlations of Cc with LL.06.0 to 11. recompression ratio (RR). the compression index.06 0 1 2 3 4 0 5 10 15 20 28 CR=Cc/1+eo RR=Cr/1+eo OCR=Pc/Po cv=k/mvJw 30 12 14 16 18 20 0 20 40 60 0 50 100 0 50 100 150 Figure 4 Compressibility Parameters for Tokai Soft Clay J (kN/m3) PL (%) LL (%) W/C (%) Figure 3 Basic Soil Properties at Tokai In addition. RR and embankment is most critical when the embankment height is the cv are presented in Figure 4. it is observed that the obtained correlations are close to that the Liquid Limit decreases with depth. highest during construction (short term). Stability of the compressibility parameters of Tokai Clay such as OCR. Whilst. 19th Southeast Asian Geotechnical Conference & 2nd AGSSEA Conference (19SEAGC & 2AGSSEA) Kuala Lumpur 31 May – 3 June 2016 Figure 2 Geological Map at Site (Geological Map of Peninsular ‫ܥ‬௖ ൌ ͲǤͷͺͲ݁௢ െ ͲǤʹͷ (2) Malaysia. Whilst. Besides. Figure 5 exhibits the relationship between the Cc of Tokai Clay and its Liquid Limit.2 Compressibility theoretically by Nishida (1956) for general undisturbed clay.04 0.0 with depth. Cr and compression index. 8th Print. Cc has been correlated to basic properties of subsoil to establish empirical correlations towards the understanding of subsoil behavior. Figure 8 shows the ratio of Cc/Cr of Tokai clay. The recompression index. Clay is in the range of 0. Cc and it is dimensionless. eo and Wn Hussein (1990) in his research on Peninsular Malaysia’s soft clay respectively. (2): 400 .1 at the top and slowly decreases to 1. mbgl (m) 8 10 10 Depth. Some of the over soft clay are settlement and stability.0. 1985 by Director General. the those suggested by Tan et al. Cc Generally. The Liquid Limits (LL) of Tokai Clay generally ranges from relationship between Cc with natural water content for Tokai Clay is 50% to 150% and this is almost in agreement with those value presented by below empirical equation Eq. Cc of clay is influenced by the sensitivity of natural clays and generally it can be correlated to the void ratio and sensitivity of the subsoil. (2003) for Klang Clay.3 to 0. mbgl (m) 12 14 15 16 18 20 20 22 24 25 26 0 0. CR. controlling consolidation settlement is one of the main Clay which ranges from 3. coefficient of consolidation in vertical As mentioned earlier. the empirical equation Eq. (1) is as below: ‫ܥ‬௖ ൌ ͲǤͲʹͷ‫ ܮܮ‬െ ͳ (1) According to Leroueil et al (1983). The gradient of the linear part of the e – log ı' is the compression index. UNDRAINED SHEAR STRENGTH as over-consolidation ratio (OCR). Figure 3 indicates both the Plasticity ‫ܥ‬௖ ൌ ͲǤͲͳͷܹ݊ െ ͲǤ͵Ͳ (3) Index and Liquid Limit of Tokai Clay decrease with increasing depth.

etc. equipment. due to the sensitivity of soft clay and disturbance introduced during sampling process. Thus. in-situ testing is much preferred particularly in Malaysia due to the process of sample collection. The undrained shear strength which characterised the strength of soft clay in undrained state can be measured using various laboratory and in-situ testing. (4). The commonly used correlation factors adopted in obtain undrained shear strength of soft clay from piezocone data are listed in Eq. However. Wn of Tokai Clay Therefore. Figure 6 Relationship between Cc and Natural Void Ratio of Tokai Clay 401 . this paper will focus on the undrained shear strength obtained from field vane shear tests and piezocones. (5) and (6). Figure 9 shows that the undrained shear strength of Tokai Clay increases almost linearly with depth and sensitivity obtained from field vane shear tests is about 2. undrained shear strength is essential for the analysis of embankment stability (total stress). skill.2. 19th Southeast Asian Geotechnical Conference & 2nd AGSSEA Conference (19SEAGC & 2AGSSEA) Kuala Lumpur 31 May – 3 June 2016 Figure 5 Relationship between Cc and Liquid Limit of Tokai Clay Figure 7 Relationship between Cc and Natural Water Content.4 to 5.

01 ‫ݏ‬௨ ൌ (5) ேೖ೟ 0.1 ௤೟ ିఙೡ೚ 0.5 Nke 4 to 12 8. Table 1 Correlation Factors for Tokai Clay Correlation Factor Values Mean Value Nkt 10 to 20 15. Figures 10 to 12 illustrate the correlation factors interpreted from Piezocone Cc/Cr = 11.0 Cc/Cr = 3. by comparing the undrained shear strength (su) obtained from the field vane shear test results with su measured 0. 1 Nk=14 ௤೎ ିఙೡ೚ ‫ݏ‬௨ ൌ (4) ேೖ Nk=5 0.001 12 0.0 results and undrained shear strength (su(fv)) from field vane shear tests.1 1 10 100 1000 results are presented in Figures 10 to 12.0 Cc/Cr = 3.001 The correlation factors obtained from the piezocone 0. (2004).0 Nk 5 to 14 9. the correlation factors of Nk.1 Figure 8 Ratio Cc and Cr of Tokai Clay Nkt= 20 1 qt-Vv (MPa) 0 1 Nkt=10 2 0. as shown in the Table 1. The undrained shear Su(fv)(kPa) strength values (su(fv)) used in the correlations were obtained from the field vane shear tests without any correction for plasticity index. Figure 11 Corrected Total Cone Resistance against Uncorrected The correlation factors for different type of empirical approaches are Field Vane Shear Strength summarised in Table 1. Therefore.1 1 10 100 1000 1 100 10 0.0 Cc/Cr = 6.01 5 6 7 0. the Authors 402 .01 ௤೟ ି௨మ ‫ݏ‬௨ ൌ ேೖ೐ (6) 0.5 0.1 qc-Vv (MPa) from the piezocone.001 0.1 3 4 0. This also coincides with the values recommended by Gue & Tan (2000) and Tan et al.001 0.01 Depth (m) 8 9 10 11 0.1 1 10 100 1000 0 10 20 30 40 50 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 100 1 Undrained Shear Strength (kPa) Sensitivity Figure 9 Undrained Shear Strength and Sensitivity of Tokai Clay 10 Thus.1 1 10 100 1000 13 su(fv)(kPa) 14 15 Figure 10 Corrected Total Cone Resistance against Uncorrected 16 Field Vane Shear Strength 17 18 0. 10 Dpeth( 15 th nd 19 Southeast Asian Geotechnical Conference & 2 AGSSEA Conference (19SEAGC & 2AGSSEA) Kuala Lumpur 31 May – 3 June 2016 20 suggest to use average value of Nkt25= 15 to estimate the undrained shear strength for Tokai Clay. Nkt and Nke are being evaluated in this section. The most frequent used empirical approach to estimate undrained shear strength is the corrected total cone resistance (qt).

London NW4 3DG. Taiwan.6 respectively. Khairul. and Stephen. P.. Graham Lodge. Ratio of Cc/Cr of Tokai Clay is in the range of 3.. and Saiful.. Pentech Press Limited.1 1 10 100 1000 Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical 1 100 Engineering. (2003) “Some Geotechnical Properties of Klang Clay” 12th Asian Regional 403 View publication stats . Graham Road. T. B. Correlations of compressibility index of Tokai Clay have been presented in the paper. P.. Lee.1 Malaysia".3 to 0. It can be observed that OCR decreases with increasing depth.0 to 11.01 0..T.1 1 10 100 1000 Su(fv)(kPa) Figure 12 Effective Cone Resistance against Uncorrected Field Vane Shear Strength 5. (2006) " The correlations Between Chemical and Index Properties for Soft Clay of Peninsular Malaysia". Ng. REFERENCES Gue. B. Bentley. H. A. Paris.001 0. The correlations obtained are close to the correlations obtained by Tan (2004) for Klang Clay. The obtained correlations show that Cc can be correlated well with Liquid Limit. natural void ratio and natural water content. (1991) "Correlations of Soil Properties". Y. Lee. Empirical correlation factors used to correlate the undrained shear strength of Tokai Clay with piezocone data can be summarized as below: Correlation Factor Values Mean Value Nkt 10 to 20 15. A. G. (2004) "Some Geotechnical Properties of Klang Clay". CONCLUSION The RR and CR of Tokai Clay range from 0. Y. Tan. T. Ng. P. Lee. Gue. S. A. P. K.01 0. C.001 0. Michael. H.. Malaysian 10 Geotechnical Conference. and Tan.02 to 0. 19th Southeast Asian Geotechnical Conference & 2nd AGSSEA Conference (19SEAGC & 2AGSSEA) Kuala Lumpur 31 May – 3 June 2016 0. S. Penang. Proceedings of the 18th International Conference Nke=12 1 on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering.0 6. C. (2000) "Planning of Subsurface Investigation and Interpretation of Test Results for Geotechnical Design". and Abdullah. Taipei. Hussein. Koo. C. L. IEM Seminar on Geotechnical Enginnering.. Y. Thirteenth Southeast Asian Geotechnical Conference.0 Nk 5 to 14 9. C. S. qt-u2 (MPa) Nke=4 0. Tan. C. Khon Kaen University. (1998) "Some Piezocone Correlations for Soft Soil Deposits in Peninsular Malaysia ". S. S. Institute Engineers Malaysia. Y.06 and 0. Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development Conference (TISD2006). S. Lee. Thailand. N. The undrained shear strength of Tokai Clay increases almost linearly with depth. Singapore..1 0.0. Tan. N. (2013) "Instrumented Trial Embankment on Soft Ground at Tokai State of Kedah.. Phuai. C. K. S.. 0. Gue. P.5 Nke 4 to 12 8. Faculty of Engineering. T. Y.