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Engineering Geological Characteristics of Soil Materials, East Nile Delta, Egypt

Authors: A. I. M. Ismail, N. Ryden


This paper is concerned with the study of mineralogy and engineering characteristics of soil materials derived from the eastern part of Nile Delta. The clay minerals of the studied soil by using X- ray diffraction are mainly illite (average 72.6 %) and kaolinite (average 2.6 %), expandable portion in illite-smectite mixed layer (average 7 %). Smectite is more abundant in fluviatile clays, whereas kaolinite is more abundant in lagoonal clays. On the other hand, illite and illite-smectite are more abundant in marine clays. The geotechnical results show that the soil under study consists mainly of about 0.3 % gravel, 5 % sand, 51.5 % silt and 42.2 % clay in average. The average shrinkage limit attains 11 % whereas the average value of the plasticity index is 23.4 %. The free swelling ranges from 40 % to 75 % and has a value of 55 % giving an indication about the inadequacy of such soil under foundations. From a construction point of view, the soil under investigation poses many problems even under light foundations due to the swelling and shrinkage. Such swelling and shrinkage is due to the high content of soil materials in the expandable clay minerals of illite and smectite. Based on the results of the present and earlier studies, trial application of soil stabilisation is recommended.

Keywords: Swelling, shrinkage, Nile Delta, Engineering Geological Investigations

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