Geotechnical and Geological Engineering

, Volume 30, Issue 6, pp 1311–1321 | Cite as

The Influence of Placement Conditions on the Swelling of Variable Clays

Original Paper


The swelling of clay when it is subjected to moisture increase is a complicated process found to be influenced by several factors. The clay’s level of response is highly dependent on its mineralogical composition and structure. Practicing geotechnical engineers use the placement state and general index properties to forecast the swelling behavior of the soils. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of placement conditions on various clays and to demonstrate that the swelling of a particular clay type should not be predicted using information and trends obtained for other clays with different origins. Clay from Saudi Arabia was used to investigate the influence of initial moisture content and initial dry density on swelling. The prediction models created by other researchers were compared to the measured values in this study. The swelling behavior of both initially dry and wet prepared bentonite was examined, and the rate at which swelling developed in the bentonite clay was studied. The role of clay content in the volume change of sand–bentonite mixtures was also investigated. It was concluded that the prediction of clay-swelling parameters should not be based on the properties of other clays with different origins and mineralogical compositions. The trends published in the literature should be taken as a general guide only, and the influence of moisture content and dry density on swelling should be verified for individual sites. Because clay content significantly influences the overall volume change, it should be carefully assessed in each case.


Placement conditions Swelling clays Prediction Soils 



The author would like to thank all those who participated in the survey and acknowledge the great help and support of Professor Abdulmohsin Al-Dhowian and Dr. Terry Cousens for their valuable support and views.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia

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