Journal of Soils and Sediments

, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp 2509–2519 | Cite as

Classification and characterization of bound water in marine mucky silty clay

  • Shuo Li
  • Changming WangEmail author
  • Xianwei Zhang
  • Linlin Zou
  • Zhenxue Dai
Soils, Sec 5 • Soil and Landscape Ecology • Research Article



Bound water has a large impact on physical and chemical properties of clay. The objective of this study was to investigate the contents, types, and physical properties of bound water and provide insights for understanding the thermal behavior and hydration process of the marine mucky silty clay under the control of bound water.

Materials and methods

An integrated approach incorporating isothermal adsorption, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and specific gravity testing were developed to determine the contents and the boundaries of different types of bound water in Qingdao clay and investigate their physical characteristics.

Results and discussion

Adsorption isotherm can be divided into two phases, which are the formation of strongly bound water and some capillary water under condition of p/ps < 0.9 and the formation of weakly bound water in the coverage for p/ps > 0.9. The initial dehydration temperatures of strongly bound water range between 87 and 92 °C in the hydrated clays under condition of p/ps < 0.98. Weakly bound water starts to be released at temperatures near 60 °C and is completely removed at temperatures between 90 and 108 °C. Capillary water and free water are evaporated before 60 °C. The specific gravity of hydrated clay decreases linearly with adsorbed water contents. The volume of hydrated clay, volume of adsorbed water, and thickness of water film approximately linearly increase with adsorbed water contents.


Quantitative determination and classification for bound water can be implemented through thermogravimetry (TG) and derivative thermogravimetry (DTG) curves. The physical properties of hydrated clay and bound water film are directly affected by the adsorbed water contents. The results may contribute to environmental and engineering risk assessment.


Bound water Capillary water Isothermal adsorption Mucky silty clay Thermogravimetric analysis 



This work was supported by the Natural Science Foundations of China (Grant No. 41572257). The authors would like to thank Dr. Han Jing (College of Construction Engineering, Jilin University) for her contribution in data collection.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shuo Li
    • 1
  • Changming Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Xianwei Zhang
    • 2
  • Linlin Zou
    • 1
  • Zhenxue Dai
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.College of Construction EngineeringJilin UniversityChangchunChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Geomechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Institute of Rock and Soil MechanicsChinese Academy of SciencesWuhanChina
  3. 3.Engineering Research Center of Geothermal Resources Development Technology and Equipment, Ministry of EducationJilin UniversityChangchunChina

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