Characterisation, mechanical and microstructural behaviour of an unsaturated silt

G. McCloskey, M. Sanchez, E. Romero

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This study investigates an unsaturated silt sampled from an embankment along the Begawan Solo River in East Java, Indonesia. Load and soak pedometer tests were carried out on laboratory compacted samples and on undisturbed samples. For samples compacted dry of optimum at low dry densities, significant settlements were observed on wetting, with a maximum collapse potential of 14% evaluated. A qualitative investigation of the microstructure of the material was carried out using an Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope. Micrographs were taken of the material under the following conditions: (a) Compacted, (b) Compacted, Loaded, (c) Compacted, Loaded & Soaked, and (d) Undisturbed. The ESEM images suggest that the fabric of the Undisturbed sample and the Compacted, Loaded & Soaked sample are similar. These results appear to indicate that the undisturbed material sampled at the end of the wet season has already undergone the process of plastic collapse compression in-situ.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnsaturated Soils
Subtitle of host publicationExperimental Studies in Unsaturated Soils and Expansive Soils
EditorsO. Buzzi, S. Fityus, D. Sheng
Place of PublicationBoca Raton
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2009
EventFourth Asia-Pacific Conference on Unsaturated Soils - Newcastle, Australia
Duration: 23 Nov 200925 Nov 2009


ConferenceFourth Asia-Pacific Conference on Unsaturated Soils


  • unsaturated silt
  • unsaturated soils
  • expansive soils

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