An investigation of the peculiar characteristics of laterite soils from southern Nigeria

  • Malomo S. 
  • Obademi M. O. 
  • Odedina P. O. 
  • Adebo O. A. 


Problem laterite soils are those that do not yield reproducible results using standard laboratory testing procedures. The soils are difficult to evaluate as engineering construction materials. The peculiar problems of these soils have been identified as thermal and mechanical instabilities i.e. the susceptibility to significant changes on the addition of small levels of thermal or mechanical energy.

A laboratory investigation of the instability characteristics of laterite soils from the forest and savannah-woodland zones of Southern Nigeria has been carried out. Mechanical instability was determined by multiple compaction test and thermal instability by oven-drying under varying conditions.

The results indicate that the soils studied can be unstable on the application of thermal and mechanical energies. Parameters obtainable from the grain-size distribution of soils subjected to the different conditions were found suitable for assessing thermal and mechanical instabilities. The maximum dry density and optimum moisture content obtained from the compaction curve are independent of the number of compaction.


Compaction Nigeria Thermal Instability Mechanical Instability Optimum Moisture Content 

Etude des caracteristiques des sols lateritiques du sud Nigeria


Les sols latériques qui posent des problèmes sont les sols qui ne donnent pas de résultats reproductibles lorsqu'on utilise des méthodes d'essais standard de laboratoire.

Ces sols sont difficiles à évaluer pour leur utilisation comme matériaux d'ouvrages. Les problèmes particuliers de ces sols sont dus à leurs comportements thermique et mécanique instables, c'est-à-dire qu'ils sont susceptibles d'être affectés de changements importants lorsqu'on additionne de petites quantités d'énergie thermique ou mécanique.

Une investigation au laboratoire sur les caractéristiques d'instabilité a été faite sur des sols latériques, issus de zones de forêt et de savane du sud du Nigeria. L'instabilité mécanique a été déterminée à l'aide de compactages répétés et l'instabilité thermique par séchage à l'étuve dans des conditions diverses.

L'application d'énergie thermique et mécanique montre que ces sols peuvent être instables, et, que ces caractéristiques d'instabilité dépendent largement de la granularité des sols. La densité sèche maximale et la teneur en eau optimale obtenues dans l'essai de compactage sont indépendantes du nombre de cycles.


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Copyright information

© International Association of Engineering Geology 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Malomo S. 
    • 1
  • Obademi M. O. 
    • 1
  • Odedina P. O. 
    • 1
  • Adebo O. A. 
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geology and Applied GeologyUniversity of IfeIle-IfeNigeria

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