Influence that Osmotic Suction and Tree Roots has on the Stability of Coastal Soils

  • Pubudu JayathilakaEmail author
  • Buddhima Indraratna
  • Ana Heitor
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering book series (LNCE, volume 29)


The contribution made by osmotic suction to unsaturated shear strength analysis has not been considered for the past few decades. Osmotic suction is generated by the salt in pore water, especially in coastal environments, and it can be more significant than matric suction. Tree roots can also induce osmotic and matric suction by continuous transpiration, and when these saline and rooted environments are combined under unsaturated conditions, they can challenge conventional shear strength models. Electrical resistivity can be used as a proper tool to evaluate the properties of soil in a large scale. This review summarizes the historical development of studies related to osmotic suction as well as the present situation of osmotic suction for soil shear strength.


Osmotic suction Matric suction Transpiration Shear strength Resistivity 



This research has been conducted with the support of the Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship. The authors would like to acknowledge Dr. Udeni P. Nawagamuwa for the guidance provided for the paper. Also, the authors would like to further acknowledge Dr. Udeshini Pathirage, Dr. Shiran G. Galpathage, and Dr. Muditha Pallewattha for their previous contributions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pubudu Jayathilaka
    • 1
    Email author
  • Buddhima Indraratna
    • 1
  • Ana Heitor
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Geomechanics & Railway EngineeringUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia

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