Experimental investigation of both the disturbed and undisturbed granitic saprolite soil

Abstract

Granitic saprolites are abundant in many regions around the world and they are widely employed in various engineering projects. Behavior of such kinds of soils is not sufficiently understood and our knowledge about the fundamental behavior of saprolites is to a far less extent than the sedimentary soils. Owing to the limited knowledge, many problems occurred in the engineering applications that used saprolites as a construction material. This study presents results of a set of conventional drained and undrained triaxial compression shearing tests on the granitic saprolites in both the disturbed and undisturbed conditions. This study showed that the soil fabric was the paramount factor governing on the soil stress–strain response rather than the soil bonds. Under the drained shearing condition, the undisturbed soil revealed a strain-softening behavior with a dilative response at the low consolidation stress level, while a contractive response was present at the high consolidation stress levels. However, the disturbed soil showed a strain-hardening behavior with a contractive response, regardless of the consolidation stress levels during the drained shearing. The undrained response was complicated, as the soil showed both the contractive and dilative responses with phase transformation points, regardless of the soil condition (i.e., disturbed or undisturbed) and the consolidation stress levels. The bond effect of the intact soil persisted during the consolidation stage; however, its effect did not extend to the large strain-controlled shearing stage, where the tangential stiffness suddenly decreased at the axial strain of 1.5%.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) for the research Grant (Nos. 416772267 and 51508216, 41931286).

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Correspondence to Huabin Wang.

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Elkamhawy, E., Zhou, B. & Wang, H. Experimental investigation of both the disturbed and undisturbed granitic saprolite soil. Environ Earth Sci 79, 276 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-020-09026-y

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Keywords

  • Soil fabric
  • Granitic saprolite
  • Bond yield