Study on swelling properties of an expansive soil deposit in Saskatchewan, Canada

Azam, S., Shah, I., Raghunandan, M.E., and Ito, M. (2013)., Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment, 72(1), 25-35. doi: 10.1007/s10064-012-0457-0 (ISI: Q3; Impact factor: 0.721, 2013) , 2013

The main objective of this paper was to study the swelling properties of Regina clay. The deposit comprises a topsoil (surface to 0.3 m depth), an expansive clay (0.3–8 m), and a bottom till (8–9 m). High liquid limit (70 ± 15 %) and plastic limit (33 ± 4 %) indicated high water retention and adsorption capacity for the clay. Irrespective of the cover type (vegetation and cracked road), the field water content in summer closely matched the plastic limit. The clay was characterized by medium-to high swelling that was best predicted by SP = 0.16 (Ip)1.188. The soil had 51 % clay minerals including smectite (32 %), illite (7 %), kaolinite (5 %), and chlorite (3 %). With a CEC of 40 cmol(+)/kg, Ca2+ and Mg2+ were found to be the main exchangeable cations: the specific surface area was 50 m2/g. The SP and Ps for a 1.2 m deep sample measured 12 % and 260 kPa, respectively, and the estimated surface heave of 180 mm gradually diminished to 3.6 m depth. These values matched well with consistency-based correlations.

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