You are on page 1of 30

1

Lecture -1
INTRODUCTION TO SOILS
2
What is Soil?

Defined as:
 Loose mass of mineral and organic materials that cover the
solid crust of granitic and basaltic rocks of the earth.
 Mixture of particles of rock, organic materials, living forms, air,
water.
 In general sense of engineering, soil is defined as the un-
cemented aggregate(or granular material) of mineral grains
and decayed organic matter along with the liquid and gas
that occupy empty spaces between the solid particles.
 All man made structures, except those which float or fly, are
supported by natural soil or rock deposits

CEE 3711 Lecture Slides Compiled by Dr. C. Kaliba & Mr. AK. Lungu Lecture 1
3
Soil Profile or Horizons

CEE 3711 Lecture Slides Compiled by Dr. C. Kaliba & Mr. AK. Lungu Lecture 1
4
Components of Soil

CEE 3711 Lecture Slides Compiled by Dr. C. Kaliba & Mr. AK. Lungu Lecture 1
5
Components of Soil: Water in
the Soil

 Infiltration: process of water soaking into the soil


 Percolation: water movement downward
 Permeable: soil said to be permeable if it allows for both
infiltration and percolation

CEE 3711 Lecture Slides Compiled by Dr. C. Kaliba & Mr. AK. Lungu Lecture 1
6
What is Soil Mechanics?

 Is the study of the engineering behaviour of soil when it is used as


either a construction or as a foundation material
 Is the branch of civil engineering which deals with the study of the
physical properties of the soil and the behaviour of soil mass
subjected to various types of forces
 It is the study of both solid and fluid mechanical characteristic of soils.
 Terzaghi defined Soil Mechanics as follows:
 Soil Mechanics is the application of the laws of mechanics and hydraulics
to engineering problems dealing with sediments and other unconsolidated
accumulations of solid particles produced by the mechanical and
chemical disintegration of rocks regardless of whether or not they contain
an admixture of organic constituents.

CEE 3711 Lecture Slides Compiled by Dr. C. Kaliba & Mr. AK. Lungu Lecture 1
7
Soil Characteristics?

 The basic characteristics of a soil may be described in


terms of its origin, formation, grain size, and shape.
 The principal engineering properties of any soil are mainly
related to the basic characteristics of that soil.

CEE 3711 Lecture Slides Compiled by Dr. C. Kaliba & Mr. AK. Lungu Lecture 1
8
Soil Characteristics: Origin and
Formation of Soils

 All soil originated as rocks broken down from acting forces.


 These forces may be due to running water, wind, freezing
and thawing, and the activity of plants and animals.
 Chemical weathering occurs as a result of oxidation,
carbonation, and other chemical actions that decompose
the minerals of the rocks.
 Soils may be described as residual or transported. Residual
soils are weathered in place and are located directly
above the original material from which they were formed.
Transported soils are those that have been moved by
water, wind, glaciers, and so forth, and are located away
from their parent materials.

CEE 3711 Lecture Slides Compiled by Dr. C. Kaliba & Mr. AK. Lungu Lecture 1
9
Factors of Soil Formation

CEE 3711 Lecture Slides Compiled by Dr. C. Kaliba & Mr. AK. Lungu Lecture 1
10
Classification of rocks

 The rocks that form the earth’s surface are classified


as to origin as:
A. Igneous
B. Sedimentary
C. Metamorphic

CEE 3711 Lecture Slides Compiled by Dr. C. Kaliba & Mr. AK. Lungu Lecture 1
11
A) Igneous rocks

 Are those formed directly from molten state of magma.


 If molten rocks cools very slowly, the different materials segregate
into large crystals forming a coarse-grained or granular structure.
 When the solution of minerals is cooled rapidly, tiny crystals of the
minerals are formed.
 When the solution of magma is cooled very rapidly, the minerals do
not separate into crystals .

CEE 3711 Lecture Slides Compiled by Dr. C. Kaliba & Mr. AK. Lungu Lecture 1
12
B) Sedimentary rocks

 Are formed from accumulated deposits of the


particles or remains of certain organisms that have
become hardened by pressure or cemented by
minerals.

CEE 3711 Lecture Slides Compiled by Dr. C. Kaliba & Mr. AK. Lungu Lecture 1
13
C) Metamorphic rocks

 Results when any type of existing rock is subject to


metamorphism, the change brought about by combinations of
heat, pressure and plastic flow so that the original rock structure
and mineral composition are changed.

CEE 3711 Lecture Slides Compiled by Dr. C. Kaliba & Mr. AK. Lungu Lecture 1
14
Characteristics of residual soils
depend on

 Climatic conditions-humidity, temperature, rainfall


 Natural drainage pattern
 Form and extent of vegetation cover

CEE 3711 Lecture Slides Compiled by Dr. C. Kaliba & Mr. AK. Lungu Lecture 1
15
Classification of transported soil in
term of deposition/ agency

 Alluvial- transported by running water(rivers)


 Aeoline- transported by wind
 Glacial – transported by ice
 Lacustrine- deposited in lake beds
 Marine deposited in sea beds
 Colluvial- deposited through action of landslide and
slope wash (gravity)

CEE 3711 Lecture Slides Compiled by Dr. C. Kaliba & Mr. AK. Lungu Lecture 1
16
Examples of transported soils.

 Bentonite is a clay formed by the


decomposition of volcanic ash with a high
content of montmorillonite. It exhibits the
properties of clay to an extreme degree.
 Varved Clays consist of thin alternating layers of
silt and fat clays of glacial origin. They possess
the undesirable properties of both silt and clay.
The constituents of varved clays were
transported into fresh water lakes by the
melted ice at the close of the ice age.

CEE 3711 Lecture Slides Compiled by Dr. C. Kaliba & Mr. AK. Lungu Lecture 1
17
Examples of transported
soils(continued)

 Kaolin, China Clay are very pure forms of


white clay used in the ceramic industry.
 Boulder Clay is a mixture of an unstratified
sedimented deposit of glacial clay,
contammg unsorted rock fragments of all
sizes ranging from boulders, cobbles, and
gravel to finely pulverized clay material.

CEE 3711 Lecture Slides Compiled by Dr. C. Kaliba & Mr. AK. Lungu Lecture 1
18
Examples of transported
soils (continued)

 Calcareous Soil is a soil containing calcium


carbonate. Such soil effervesces when tested
with weak hydrochloric acid.
 Marl consists of a mixture of calcareous sands,
clays, or loam.
 Hardpan is a relatively hard, densely cemented
soil layer, like rock which does not soften when
wet. Boulder clays or glacial till is also sometimes
named as hardpan.

CEE 3711 Lecture Slides Compiled by Dr. C. Kaliba & Mr. AK. Lungu Lecture 1
19
Examples of transported
soils (continued)

 Caliche is an admixture of clay, sand, and gravel


cemented by calcium carbonate deposited from
ground water.
 Peat is a fibrous aggregate of finer fragments of
decayed vegetable matter. Peat is very compressible
and one should be cautious when using it for
supporting foundations of structures.
 Loam is a mixture of
sand, silt and clay.

CEE 3711 Lecture Slides Compiled by Dr. C. Kaliba & Mr. AK. Lungu Lecture 1
20
Examples of transported
soils (continued)

 Loess is a fine-grained, air-borne deposit


characterized by a very uniform grain size, and high
void ratio. The size of particles ranges between
about 0.01 to 0.05 mm. The soil can stand deep
vertical cuts because of slight cementation
between particles. It is formed in dry continental
regions and its color is yellowish light brown.
 Shale is a material in the state of transition from clay
to slate. Shale itself is sometimes considered a rock
but, when it is exposed to the air or has a chance to
take in water it may rapidly decompose.

CEE 3711 Lecture Slides Compiled by Dr. C. Kaliba & Mr. AK. Lungu Lecture 1
21
Major soil deposits

 Expansive –High shrink-swell


characteristics(attributed to the mineral-black
in colour)
 Marine – Very soft and may contain organic
matter
 Laterite – Red in colour due to iron oxide
 Alluvial – Alternate layers of sand, silt & clay
 Desert – Wind blown, uniformly graded
 Glacial – boulder clay (all ranges of particle
sizes)

CEE 3711 Lecture Slides Compiled by Dr. C. Kaliba & Mr. AK. Lungu Lecture 1
22
Constituents of the soil mass

 Formation of soils from weathering of the parent


rock
 Wide range of sizes of soil solids
 Behaviour of soil mass under stress is a function of
material properties such as (i) texture: size &
shape of grains (ii) gradation (iii) mineralogical
composition (Iv) arrangement of grains (v) inter-
particle forces etc.

CEE 3711 Lecture Slides Compiled by Dr. C. Kaliba & Mr. AK. Lungu Lecture 1
23
Constituents cont.

 Soil is a Particulate material – which means that a


soil mass consists of accumulation of individual
particles that are bonded together by mechanical
or attractive means though not strongly as for rock.
 Spaces in between solid particles are called voids or
Pore spaces

CEE 3711 Lecture Slides Compiled by Dr. C. Kaliba & Mr. AK. Lungu Lecture 1
24
Constituents cont.

 In soil – Voids exist between particles, and may be


filled with a liquid, usually water or gas usually air or
both

CEE 3711 Lecture Slides Compiled by Dr. C. Kaliba & Mr. AK. Lungu Lecture 1
25
Soil Characteristics: Soil Texture

 The texture of a soil can be described in terms of its


appearance, which depends mainly on the shapes
and sizes of the soil particles and their distribution in the
soil mass.
 For example, soils consisting mainly of silts and clays
with very small particle sizes are known as fine-textured
soils, whereas soils consisting mainly of sands and gravel
with much larger particles are known as coarse-
textured soils.
 The individual particles of fine-textured soils are usually
invisible to the naked eye, whereas those of
 Coarse-textured soils are visible to the naked eye.

CEE 3711 Lecture Slides Compiled by Dr. C. Kaliba & Mr. AK. Lungu Lecture 1
26
Soil Texture: Grain Size

 Soils can therefore be divided into two main


categories based on their texture.
 Coarse-grained soils are sometimes defined as those
with particle sizes greater than 0.05 mm, such as
sands and gravel,
 Fine-grained soils are those with particle sizes less
than 0.05 mm, such as silts and clays.
 The dividing line of 0.05 mm (0.075 mm has also
been used) is selected because that is normally the
smallest grain size that can be seen by the naked
eye.

CEE 3711 Lecture Slides Compiled by Dr. C. Kaliba & Mr. AK. Lungu Lecture 1
27
Soil Texture: Shapes of coarser
fractions of soils

Angular Subangular Subrounded

Rounded Well rounded

CEE 3711 Lecture Slides Compiled by Dr. C. Kaliba & Mr. AK. Lungu Lecture 1
Shapes of coarser fractions of soils
28
Questions

 What are the shapes for finer fractions of soil?


 What is the finest soil fraction?
 What are the different particle size classification
methods and how does each classify soil?
 Which soil classification method is suitable in Zambia
for:
a) Road Construction
b) Building or Structural Construction

CEE 3711 Lecture Slides Compiled by Dr. C. Kaliba & Mr. AK. Lungu Lecture 1
29
Soil Texture: Soli Classification
Methods

CEE 3711 Lecture Slides Compiled by Dr. C. Kaliba & Mr. AK. Lungu Lecture 1
30
Soil Texture: Description and
Probable Origin of Soil Structure

CEE 3711 Lecture Slides Compiled by Dr. C. Kaliba & Mr. AK. Lungu Lecture 1