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Geotechnical Engineering I

Soil Constituents Lecture # 3

Engr. Muhammad Awais Shafique Department of Transportation Engineering & Management University of Engineering & Technology, Lahore

Fruit for mind

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Soil generally consists of three phases Solid Phase Liquid Phase Gaseous Phase The soil mass may contain some or all of the above mentioned three phases.

Solid Phase
Solid Phase contains all or some of the following. Solid particles of rock and clay minerals Cementing admixture Organic matter

Solid Phase
Rock and clay minerals. Major component of soil mass. Coarse grained generally contains minerals of particle size 0.075 mm. Properties depend on shape and size. Low specific surface area.


Solid Phase
Rock and clay minerals. Fine grained contains clay minerals. Clays have high specific surface area.

Solid Phase
Cementing admixtures Particle surfaces are covered with thin layers of cementing agents like calcite, iron oxide, silica etc.

Solid Phase
Organic matter Near surface deposits contain matter derived from decomposition of plants and animals remains. Peat or muck. Highly undesirable in engineering structures. Compressible, shear strength, cement setting.

Liquid Phase
Water Change in moisture content produces variation in engineering characteristics. Dissolved salts Water soluble salts (like sulphates, sodium chloride etc.) can alter engineering properties.

Gaseous Phase
Air Less than 5% have low compressibility which becomes large for 15%. Water vapours Relative humidity of air in voids is high for partially saturated soils.


Volume-Volume relationships
Void ratio (e) Ratio of volume of the voids to the volume of the solids. Porosity (n) Ratio of volume of voids to the total volume expressed in percentage.


Volume-Volume relationships
Degree of saturation (S) Ratio of volume of water to volume of voids expressed in percentage. Air content (A) Ratio of volume of air to the total volume of soil.


Weight-Weight relationships
Moisture content (w) Ratio of weight of water to weight of soil solids expressed in percentage. Specific gravity (Gs) Ratio of unit weight of soil solids to unit weight of water at 4oC.


Weight-Volume relationships
Bulk unit weight Dry unit weight Unit weight of soil solids Unit weight of water

So what have we studied