Rate-dependent behaviour of a saturated clay under different stress histories and k0 conditions

  • Shengshen WuEmail author
  • Thomas Lok
  • Youwei Xu
  • Dong Wang
Research Paper


This paper investigates the results obtained from a series of K0-consolidated undrained triaxial tests, which were carried out on marine clay specimens under different stress histories and strain rates. All marine clay specimens were prepared from a slurry state and pre-consolidated in a consolidometer under a vertical pressure of 100 kPa. The specimens were then compressed to the same initial effective pressure of 400 kPa. Different over-consolidation ratios (= 1, 2 and 4) were achieved by unloading to 400, 200 and 100 kPa, respectively. After completing the K0-consolidation, specimens were sheared at three rates (= 0.1%/h, 1%/h and 10%/h). The responses of the marine clay under different strain rates and the influence of stress histories under K0 conditions are discussed. The results show that higher strain rates tend to result in higher undrained shear strengths and lower pore pressure for different over-consolidation ratios under K0 conditions. Conversely, higher over-consolidation ratios tend to result in lower shear strengths for all the strain rates. Further, two rate parameters used to study the strain rate effects are also discussed and interpreted, and the suitable rate parameters of the reconstituted clay are recommended in designs for the marine clay.


K0-consolidated Over-consolidation ratios Shear strength Strain rate Triaxial 



Deviator stress at failure


Deviator stress


Axial strain rate


Reference deviator stress at failure

\(\dot{\varepsilon }_{{ 1\left( {\text{ref}} \right)}}\)

Reference strain rate

\(\sigma_{\text{h}}^{\prime }\)

Effective horizontal stress

\(\sigma_{\text{v}}^{\prime }\)

Effective vertical stress


The maximum over-consolidation ratio that the soil experienced

\(\phi^{\prime }\)

The friction angle


Axial strain


Pore pressure at failure


Shear strength


Effective stress


Normally consolidated




Over-consolidation ratio


K0-consolidated undrained


Normally consolidated


Liquid limit


Plastic index


Macau marine clay



The financial support of this study was provided through the research grant MYRG066(Y1-L2)-FST12-LMH by the Research Committee of the University of Macau and ARC Linkage Project (LP16010064).


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EngineeringRoyal Melbourne Institute of TechnologyMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of MacauMacauChina
  3. 3.School of Civil EngineeringUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  4. 4.School of EngineeringUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia

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