Geotechnical and Geological Engineering

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 219–232 | Cite as

Mechanical and Physical Characterization of Tabriz Marls, Iran

  • Ali Hooshmand
  • Mohammad H. Aminfar
  • Ebrahim Asghari
  • Hamid Ahmadi
Original Paper


Three types of marls can be found in the Tabriz area (Iran): yellow, green, and gray/black marls. In the present paper, strength and deformation characteristics of Tabriz marls and their stress–strain behavior are investigated by various in situ and laboratory tests. In order to study the deformation behavior of these marls, various experiments such as the pressuremeter test, plate loading test (PLT), seismic wave velocity test, uniaxial compression test, standard penetration test (SPT), and direct shear test were carried out. Ranges of strain at the elastic and failure points were determined. Young’s and shear modulus were obtained. Test results showed that the strength characteristics increase with depth. The value of deformation modulus determined by the pressuremeter test was in good agreement with those obtained from the PLT. This implies that pressuremeter is a suitable in situ test for characterizing the deformation modulus of marl. Deformation modulus obtained from pressuremeter and plate loading tests were approximately 4–5 times the results of uniaxial compressive test and the deformation modulus obtained from seismic data was about 30–50 times the static deformation modulus. Stress–strain curves showed that the maximum value of strain at the elastic and failure points and the minimum value of strength and deformation modulus are corresponding to the yellow marls while the minimum value of strain and the maximum value of strength and deformation modulus are corresponding to the gray/black marls. Some empirical relationships between different characteristics of Tabriz marls were also derived.


Marl Pressuremeter test Plate loading test Seismic wave test Direct shear test Tabriz 



The authors are grateful to Pazhoohesh Omran Rahvar Consulting Engineers for their collaboration in preparing the tests data. The authors also gratefully acknowledge the useful comments of anonymous reviewers on an earlier version of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ali Hooshmand
    • 1
  • Mohammad H. Aminfar
    • 2
  • Ebrahim Asghari
    • 3
  • Hamid Ahmadi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of GeologyUniversity of TehranTehranIran
  2. 2.Faculty of Civil EngineeringUniversity of TabrizTabrizIran
  3. 3.Department of Geology, Faculty of Natural SciencesUniversity of TabrizTabrizIran

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