Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 6

Unsaturated Soils Related Abstracts

6 Modified Evaluation of the Hydro-Mechanical Dependency of the Water Coefficient of Permeability of a Clayey Sand with a Novel Permeameter for Unsaturated Soils

Authors: G. Adelian, A. Mirzaii, S. S. Yasrobi


This paper represents data of an extensive experimental laboratory testing program for the measurement of the water coefficient of permeability of clayey sand in different hydraulic and mechanical boundary conditions. A novel permeameter was designed and constructed for the experimental testing program, suitable for the study of flow in unsaturated soils in different hydraulic and mechanical loading conditions. In this work, the effect of hydraulic hysteresis, net isotropic confining stress, water flow condition, and sample dimensions are evaluated on the water coefficient of permeability of understudying soil. The experimental results showed a hysteretic variation for the water coefficient of permeability versus matrix suction and degree of saturation, with higher values in drying portions of the SWCC. The measurement of the water permeability in different applied net isotropic stress also signified that the water coefficient of permeability increased within the increment of net isotropic consolidation stress. The water coefficient of permeability also appeared to be independent of different applied flow heads, water flow condition, and sample dimensions.

Keywords: Unsaturated Soils, water permeability, hydraulic hysteresis, void ratio, matrix suction, degree of saturation

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5 Determination of Unsaturated Soil Permeability Based on Geometric Factor Development of Constant Discharge Model

Authors: A. Rifa’i, Y. Takeshita, M. Komatsu


After Yogyakarta earthquake in 2006, the main problem that occurred in the first yard of Prambanan Temple is ponding area that occurred after rainfall. Soil characterization needs to be determined by conducting several processes, especially permeability coefficient (k) in both saturated and unsaturated conditions to solve this problem. More accurate and efficient field testing procedure is required to obtain permeability data that present the field condition. One of the field permeability test equipment is Constant Discharge procedure to determine the permeability coefficient. Necessary adjustments of the Constant Discharge procedure are needed to be determined especially the value of geometric factor (F) to improve the corresponding value of permeability coefficient. The value of k will be correlated with the value of volumetric water content (θ) of an unsaturated condition until saturated condition. The principle procedure of Constant Discharge model provides a constant flow in permeameter tube that flows into the ground until the water level in the tube becomes constant. Constant water level in the tube is highly dependent on the tube dimension. Every tube dimension has a shape factor called the geometric factor that affects the result of the test. Geometric factor value is defined as the characteristic of shape and radius of the tube. This research has modified the geometric factor parameters by using empty material tube method so that the geometric factor will change. Saturation level is monitored by using soil moisture sensor. The field test results were compared with the results of laboratory tests to validate the results of the test. Field and laboratory test results of empty tube material method have an average difference of 3.33 x 10-4 cm/sec. The test results showed that modified geometric factor provides more accurate data. The improved methods of constant discharge procedure provide more relevant results.

Keywords: Unsaturated Soils, constant discharge, geometric factor, permeability coefficient

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4 An Elasto-Viscoplastic Constitutive Model for Unsaturated Soils: Numerical Implementation and Validation

Authors: Maria Lazari, Lorenzo Sanavia


Mechanics of unsaturated soils has been an active field of research in the last decades. Efficient constitutive models that take into account the partial saturation of soil are necessary to solve a number of engineering problems e.g. instability of slopes and cuts due to heavy rainfalls. A large number of constitutive models can now be found in the literature that considers fundamental issues associated with the unsaturated soil behaviour, like the volume change and shear strength behaviour with suction or saturation changes. Partially saturated soils may either expand or collapse upon wetting depending on the stress level, and it is also possible that a soil might experience a reversal in the volumetric behaviour during wetting. Shear strength of soils also changes dramatically with changes in the degree of saturation, and a related engineering problem is slope failures caused by rainfall. There are several states of the art reviews over the last years for studying the topic, usually providing a thorough discussion of the stress state, the advantages, and disadvantages of specific constitutive models as well as the latest developments in the area of unsaturated soil modelling. However, only a few studies focused on the coupling between partial saturation states and time effects on the behaviour of geomaterials. Rate dependency is experimentally observed in the mechanical response of granular materials, and a viscoplastic constitutive model is capable of reproducing creep and relaxation processes. Therefore, in this work an elasto-viscoplastic constitutive model for unsaturated soils is proposed and validated on the basis of experimental data. The model constitutes an extension of an existing elastoplastic strain-hardening constitutive model capable of capturing the behaviour of variably saturated soils, based on energy conjugated stress variables in the framework of superposed continua. The purpose was to develop a model able to deal with possible mechanical instabilities within a consistent energy framework. The model shares the same conceptual structure of the elastoplastic laws proposed to deal with bonded geomaterials subject to weathering or diagenesis and is capable of modelling several kinds of instabilities induced by the loss of hydraulic bonding contributions. The novelty of the proposed formulation is enhanced with the incorporation of density dependent stiffness and hardening coefficients in order to allow the modeling of the pycnotropy behaviour of granular materials with a single set of material constants. The model has been implemented in the commercial FE platform PLAXIS, widely used in Europe for advanced geotechnical design. The algorithmic strategies adopted for the stress-point algorithm had to be revised to take into account the different approach adopted by PLAXIS developers in the solution of the discrete non-linear equilibrium equations. An extensive comparison between models with a series of experimental data reported by different authors is presented to validate the model and illustrate the capability of the newly developed model. After the validation, the effectiveness of the viscoplastic model is displayed by numerical simulations of a partially saturated slope failure of the laboratory scale and the effect of viscosity and degree of saturation on slope’s stability is discussed.

Keywords: Unsaturated Soils, slope, PLAXIS software, Viscoplasticity

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3 An Experimental Investigation in Effect of Confining Stress and Matric Suction on the Mechanical Behavior of Sand with Different Fine Content

Authors: S. Asreazad


This paper presents the results that the soil volumetric strain and shear strength are closely related to the confining stress and initial matric suction under constant water content testing on the specimens of unsaturated sand with clay and silt fines contents. The silty sand specimens reached their peak strength after a very small axial strain followed by a post-peak softening towards an ultimate value. The post-peak drop in stress increased by an increment of the suction, while there is no peak strength for clayey sand specimens. The clayey sand shows compressibility and possesses ductile stress-strain behaviour. Shear strength increased nonlinearly with respect to matric suction for both soil types. When suction exceeds a certain range, the effect of suction on shear strength increment weakens gradually. Under the same confining stress, the dilatant tendencies in the silty sand increased under lower values of suction and decreased for higher suction values under the same confining stress. However, the amount of contraction increased with increasing initial suction for clayey sand specimens.

Keywords: Unsaturated Soils, triaxial test, silty sand, clayey sand

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2 Synthesizing an Artificial Loess for Geotechnical Investigations of Collapsible Soil Behavior

Authors: Hamed Sadeghi, Pouya A. Panahi, Hamed Nasiri, Mohammad Sadeghi


Collapsible soils like loess comprise an important category of problematic soils for construction purposes and sustainable development. As a result, research on both geological and geotechnical aspects of this type of soil have been in progress for decades. However, considerable natural variability in physical properties of in-situ loess strata even in a single block sample challenges the fundamental laboratory investigations. The reason behind this is that it is somehow impossible to remove the effect of a specific factor like void ratio from fair comparisons to come with a reliable conclusion. In order to cope with this limitation, two types of artificially made dispersive and calcareous loess are introduced which can be easily reproduced in any soil mechanics laboratory provided that all its compositions are known and controlled. The collapse potential is explored for a variety of soil water salinity and lime content and comparisons are made against the natural soil behavior. Trends are reported for the influence of pore water salinity on collapse potential under different osmotic flow conditions. The most important advantage of artificial loess is the ease of controlling cementing agent content like calcite or dispersive potential for studying their influence on mechanical soil behavior.

Keywords: laboratory tests, Unsaturated Soils, artificial loess, collapse potential, dispersive clays

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1 Analytical Solution for Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical Analysis of Unsaturated Porous Media Using AG Method

Authors: Davood Yazdani Cherati, Hussein Hashemi Senejani


In this paper, a convenient analytical solution for a system of coupled differential equations, derived from thermo-hydro-mechanical analysis of three-phase porous media such as unsaturated soils is developed. This kind of analysis can be used in various fields such as geothermal energy systems and seepage of leachate from buried municipal and domestic waste in geomaterials. Initially, a system of coupled differential equations, including energy, mass, and momentum conservation equations is considered, and an analytical method called AGM is employed to solve the problem. The method is straightforward and comprehensible and can be used to solve various nonlinear partial differential equations (PDEs). Results indicate the accuracy of the applied method for solving nonlinear partial differential equations.

Keywords: Porous Media, Unsaturated Soils, analytical solution, AGM, thermo-hydro-mechanical

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