‡Ms. Uiras ‡Mr. Nangolo


Introductory Concepts 2. Soil as a Construction Material 3. Types of Soils in Namibia and their use in the construction industry 4. Environmental chemistry of soils

2. INTRODUCTION ‡ Soil and regolith ‡Soil-Forming Factors ‡Soil Components ‡Soil Properties and Chemistry ‡Chemical composition ‡Soil Profiles ‡Soil Classification .

Soil and Regolith Soils are the main. naturally occurring materials Soil is found in the top layer s of regolith Regolith = soil + portions of bedrock In engineering. soil is referred to as regolith : loose rock material or layer covering solid/bedrock and is created by the action of wind and water .

Soils result when collections of these particles are re-deposited.factor comprises of the meteorological conditions which surround the soil system such as temperature. and are compressed and consolidated by further depositions y Climatic . rainfall.Soil Forming Factors y Geologic parent rock factor: Rocks are said to be the parent of soil because all soils originate directly or indirectly from them and are classified according to their mode of formation. By a combination of physical and chemical processes rock masses are reduced to particles ranging in sizes down to 0. often in bodies of water.001 mm. humidity ( the agents of weathering) .

Soil Forming Factors y Topographic factor : The general shape of the land surface in terms of its slope and position relative to its geographic coordinates. Water erosion is more effective on steeper. affect the moisture and temperature of the soil Example Steep soils facing the sun are warmer. Precipitation has Significant impact on soil formation as it determines runoff water. Steep soils erode and lose their topsoil as they form and display different soils characters on both top and bottom layers of the slope. unvegetative slopes . compared to the those that don t.

Soil Forming Factors
y Topographic factor :

Soil Forming Factors

y Biological factor :

Decomposition of Plants, animals with the aid micro organisms have an effect on the formation of soil by speeding up the rate of dissolution of parent material

Soil Forming Factors

y Time factor :

Soil formation is an ongoing process. Over time soils shows features that reflect the various forming factors.

Soil developmemt ‡Soil forms from a complex interaction between earth materials. climate and organisms acting over time . by the process of weathering: physical/mechanical break down and chemical alteration of earth material .

.y During the early stage of soil development. Later on they show a change in their chemical characteristics. soils are dominated by characteristics inherited from parent material.

Later on they show a change in their chemical characteristics. soils are dominated by characteristics inherited from parent material. .y During the early stage of soil development.

Soil Components Soils are a complex mixture of: ‡Inorganic Materials ‡Organic Matter ‡Soil Air ‡Soil Water .

nondefined colloidal material (finely divided solids that do not settle but which may removed by coagulation) .Soil Components Inorganic Materials: y Decomposing high temp silicates. a dark. oxides etc y Fine grained clay minerals essential for holding water and organic nutrients Organic Matter: y Micro-organisms y < 5% soil volume y Decomposed vegetable matter humus. complex.

5 . lignins.Organic matter: y 0. y Includes carbohydrates.5% of soil volume y made up of different substances that are gradually broken down by microorganisms. proteins. . waxes. Many of these compounds do not decompose completely and are transformed to humus. fats.

.Soil Components Soil Air Air makes up approximately 25% of total soil volume.

Soil Components Soil Air Soil is made up of approximately 40-60% of pores. Porosity : Ratio of the volume of voids (containing air and/or water) in a soil to the total volume of the soil expressed as a percentage ‡Void ratio: is the ratio of the volume of voids to the volume of solid particles in a soil . The pore size influences water holding capacity and aeration.

Soil Components Soil Water Percolation: Refers to the downward flow or movement of water through the soil profile Capillary action : The movement of a liquid along the surface of a solid caused by the attraction of molecules of the liquid to that of the solids .

Soil Components Soil Water ‡Eluviation: process of removing minerals from soil with water ‡Illuviation: process of depositing the removed minerals in underlying layers .

Soil properties Color Red color results from leaching removal of materials by dissolving them away from solids .

Soil properties Texture clay Silt Sand .

0.05 . Gravel: 2 .Soil properties Texture Unweathered primary materials: have little capacity to hold water and nutrients and are relatively chemically unreactive.002 mm in diameter.002 . .05 mm Weathered secondary materials: Clay: is a secondary mineral less than 0.2.0 mm Silt: 0.4mm Sand: 0.

y Aeration: sand has rapid gas exchange.Soil properties Texture Textural classification: y Infiltration of water: rapid in sands. clay high. slow in clays. y Fertility: sand has low fertility. y Drainage: rapid in sands. slow in clays. depending on type. . clay slow.

Soil properties Structure .

Soil properties Moisture Porous and Non Porous Soil: the rate of permeability .

1 micrometer (10-7 meters) y clays + organic particles y when mixed with water form a suspension y absorb water .Soil properties and Chemistry Colloids: y less than 0.

Soil properties and Chemistry Acidity/Alkalinity: .

Their water holding capacity is very high because of their large surface area per unit mass: y Three-layer clays: (Si-Al-Si lattice) montmorillonite and illite have high CEC. retain and exchange cations.Soil properties and Chemistry Ion Exchange: Clays: high cation exchange capacity (CEC) because they are negatively charged and can attract. y Two-layer clays: (Si-Al lattice) like kaolinite have low CEC. y Amorphous clays: are composed of oxides of Fe and Al and have very low CEC .

etc. Fe occurs mainly in the form of oxides and ferromagnesium minerals. . Fe. gypsum. Mg. Zn.Chemical composition of Soils y oxygen (46. inositol. Ca. amino acids. etc. K. Ca occurs mainly in calcite. Cu. Mg is present mainly in dolomite and hornblende K occurs mainly in microcline and mica P occurs as aluminium phosphate and calcium phosphate and in the organic form as phospholipids. aluminium (8. B occur in the inorganic form.1 %) and iron y y y y y y y y y (5. and Al occur as constituents of minerals and as oxides. silicon (27%). All micronutrients like Mo. Mn. choline.0%). Na. apatite and dolomite. P and S are present in the minerals and in the soil solution.7%). N occurs mainly in the organic form as proteins. Si.

unique to different geologic and climatic areas .Soil Profile Horizons specifically refer to variations in soil profiles. texture and color that define the horizon from other soil types. similar in characteristics such as composition. Soil Horizons (horizontal layers)that exist within a vertical column of soil A coherent layer of soil.

In Namibia we use the World Reference Base for soil Resources ( WRB) . Order types end in the letters sol.Soil Classification In order to understand relationships between different soils and to determine the usefulness of a soil for a particular use soils are classified into categories y Orders are the highest category of soil classification.


C) y Namibia : San people (7th century B.C) y Western civilizations: Rome ( 5th century B.History Soil is the oldest construction and engineering material & was used as the main element during construction y Sumerian civilization : Ur ( 50th century B.C) y African civilization: Nubian ( 2nd century B.C ) and Egyptians ( 3rd century B.C) and Greek ( 28th century B.C) .

e. the uncertainty in soil analysis and design is high. These most likely come from the way soil originates.g.Soil as a Construction Material In engineering soil is mostly used in the following areas: y As a Bearing capacity for the foundation of structures y As a mixing agent to form concrete etc y As a stability slope soil is one of the most complex fields in civil engineering to the point that when it comes to the factor of safety in design whatever has direct contact with soils.g. or soil based constructions. e. . i. it has the highest number. e. foundations. embankments.

Steel: The risk of corrosion. Steel installations that intersect soil boundaries or soil layers is more susceptible to corrosion than steel in installations that are entirely within one kind of soil or within one soil layer. but presence of water and aggressive chemicals like chloride ions.. total acidity. . as well as types of bacteria. is based on soil drainage class. and electrical conductivity of the saturation extract.Soil as a Construction Material Effect of soil chemistry on structures: Concrete and Steel y Ideally steels & concrete should be in the passive state in soils. sulphates. or high. moderate. electrical resistivity near field capacity. expressed as low. can cause localized corrosion.

The factors contributing to Corrosion: Soil Resistivity y Indicator of soil corrosivity y Corrosivity is associated with electrochemical reaction in soils. It is based on soil texture. y highly resistive soils slow down corrosion reactions y Resistivity decreases with increase in moisture & chemical concentration y Well drained soils less corrosive .Soil as a Construction Material Concrete: The risk of corrosion also is expressed as low. and amount of sulfates in the saturation extract. acidity. or high. moderate.

industrial wastes.ion concentration Cl. acid rain and certain forms of microbiological Presence of Chlorides.5 8.ion participates in pitting iniation of steel presence decreases soil resitivity presence due to: brackish groundwater. y As acidity increases so does the risk of corrosion y Soil acidity is due to: mineral leaching. Sulphates and Other Dissolved Species: Most Important Factors y Cl. decomposition of acidic plants.Soil as a Construction Material Acidity of the Soil y Normal pH range of 4.0. historical geological seabeds .

Soil as a Construction Material y Soil moisture contains sulphate ions. HCO3sulphates less corrosive than ClRisk: sulphates can be converted to highly corrosive sulphides by reactions in soil Microbiologically Induced Corrosion (MIC) y Corrosion induced by activities of microorganisms y Presence Sulphate Reducing Bacteria increases risk of corrosion y By product of SRB metabolism = sulphide ions y Sulphide ions react with metal surface . H+.

Soil as a Construction Material Oxygen concentration cells y O2 takes part in cathodic reaction y Supply of O2 changes with type of soil = creation of O2 concentration cells y Increase in O2 concentration = increase in redox potential .

Acid attacks steel leading to structural weakness and failure When acidic soils are exposed they will shrink and crack. and exposing the aggregate. y Salt damage to roads and highways includes the breakdown of concrete. bitumen and asphalt with associated pot holing. This can result in subsidence and cracking of foundations As concrete surfaces deteriorates this leads to the corrosion of steel reinforcements Acidic soil => lack of vegetation => more rapid soil loss => significant long term destruction of road structureShifting or sinking of foundations may result in structural cracking.y Acid chemically reacts with lime in concrete wearing away y y y y at the structure. . damage or collapse. cracking and crumbling of the road base.






. Wet alkaline soil will damage concrete foundations and stucco siding.y The major concern is to not allow excessive water against the foundation.

Soil as a Construction Material Mechanical properties: y shear strength : The internal resistance per unit area that the soil mass can offer to resist sliding failure along any plane inside it. Stresses induced along any plane in a soil mass can be converted to .Shear stress : stresses along the plane .Normal stress : stresses perpendicular to the plane .

Soil as a Construction Material SOIL MASS A B .

by continued pressure. Settlement will continue to take place until excess pore pressure has been dissipated. Depending on the permeability of clay and adjacent subsoil this process may occur over years. Before the foundation is constructed the layer carries the normal overburden load. When a load is applied to saturated clay the load is initially carried by the pore water.Soil as a Construction Material y Consolidation: The ongoing removal. During these process settlement occurs. After completion there is still some overburden load plus the effect of pressure exerted by the foundation . known as consolidation settlement because of the reduction in volume associated with the removal of water. this load is gradually transferred to the soil particles as the water is removed under pressure. of water form the pores of saturated cohesive materials with subsequent change in volume.


.Soil as a Construction Material y Permeability: The capacity of a soil to allow water to pass through y Effective stress : The intergranular stress which exists between soil particles at any particular level in a soil mass y Slope stability : The assessment of the stability of earth slope against failure. normally takes the form of a slip along one or more ruptured surfaces somewhere within the soil mass.

L H PI LL (Holtz and Kovacs. related to plasticity of a soil. and shrinkage limit. plastic limit.y Atterberg Limits Liquid Limit. 1981) .

TYPES OF SOILS IN NAMIBIA ³ CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY´ The most common soil types in Namibia are: sandy soils (arenosols) young soil on solid rocks (leptosols) Fertile fluvisols .3.


y The most common soil types used in construction are shown in table below: .




dynamic resources that comprise only about two percent of Maine s overall coastline.y Dune sands Coastal sand dune systems are fragile. .

River sand .

Arenosols .

The vast majority of environmental contaminants are initially released to the soil. precipitation. mobility and potential toxicity of contaminants in the environment. These reactions are often disregarded by scientists and engineers involved with environmental remediation. polymerization. Once a chemical is exposed to the soil environment a myriad of chemical reactions can occur that may increase/decrease a contaminants toxicity. and oxidation/reduction. dissolution. Understanding these processes will enable us to better predict the fate and toxicity of contaminants and will ultimately provide us with the knowledge to develop sound and cost-effective remediation strategies. complexation.ENVIRONMENTAL SOIL CHEMISTRY y A knowledge of environmental soil chemistry is paramount to predicting the fate. These reactions include adsorption/desorption. .


Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful