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Effect of Crude Oil on Soil-Water Characteristic Curve of Clayey Soil

Authors: Seyed Abolhasan Naeini, Seyed Mohammad Reza Hosseini


The measured soil suction values when related to water content is called suction-water content relationship (SWR) or soil-water characteristic curve (SWCC) and forms the basis of unsaturated soil behavior assessment. The SWCC can be measured or predicted based on soil index properties such as grain-size distribution and plasticity index. In this paper, the SWCC of clean and contaminated clayey soil classified as clay with low plasticity (CL) are presented. Laboratory studies were conducted on virgin (disturbed-uncontaminated soil collected from vicinity of Tehran oil refinery) soil and soil samples simulated to varying degrees of contamination with crude oil (i.e., 3, 6, and 9% by dry weight of soil) to compare the results before and after contamination. Laboratory tests were conducted using a device which is capable of measuring volume change and pore pressures. The soil matric suction at the ends of samples controlled by using the axis translation technique. The results show that contamination with crude oil facilitates the movement of water and reduces the soil suction.

Keywords: Axis translation technique, clayey soil, contamination, crude oil, soil-water characteristic curve.

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