Progresive destruction of the Bothkennar city: implications for sampling and reconsolidation procedures

Clayton, C.R.I., Hight, D.W. and Hopper, R.J. (1992) Progresive destruction of the Bothkennar city: implications for sampling and reconsolidation procedures Geotechnique, 42, (2), pp. 219-239. (doi:10.1680/geot.1992.42.2.219).


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Triaxial stress and strain path tests have been carried out on high-quality Laval and Sherbrooke samples of lightly overconsolidated Bothkennar clay. The specimens were instrumented with local axial and radial strain and mid-plane pore pressure measurement, with precautions being taken to retain the existing pore water chemistry. The test programme imposed shear and volumetric strains of various magnitudes to assess the reduction in strength and stiffness caused by sampling and laboratory reconsolidation procedures. It is concluded that for this clay even very high quality tube samples will suffer a significant loss in mean effective stress, and some loss of structure during sampling, as a result of the imposed undrained shear strain cycle. Re-establishment of the initial effective stress level, by an appropriate stress path, will recover a proportion of the undisturbed undrained compressive strength that depends on the amount of destructuring: stiffness cannot be fully recovered. Reconsolidation procedures risk taking the specimen through the current yield surface, in which case large volumetric strains will occur and be accompanied by significant destructuring and, hence, irrecoverable loss of strength and stiffness. For natural clays, such as Bothkennar clay, the variability of structure within the deposit means that normalization solely with respect to effective stress cannot be used to allow for the disturbance caused by tube sampling, or to recover in situ soil properties.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1680/geot.1992.42.2.219
ISSNs: 0016-8505 (print)
Keywords: clays, stiffness, shear strength, fabric, strains, structure of soils
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Q Science > QC Physics
ePrint ID: 75026
Date :
Date Event
June 1992Published
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2010
Last Modified: 26 May 2017 05:41
Further Information:Google Scholar

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