Dynamic Properties of Marine Sediments

  • A. M. Davis
  • J. D. Bennell
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 16)


In the marine environment dynamic stresses can be generated in a variety of ways, for example by water wave motion, earthquake activity, foundation vibrations etc., and once translated to the seafloor, transmission of the stress wave is dependent on the dynamic properties of the sediment itself. An understanding of the response of seafloor sediments to dynamic stresses is essential to several fields of marine investigation — seismic hazard evaluation, radioactive waste disposal, slope stability, foundation investigation — and this can best be achieved by studying the various parameters which control elastic wave propagation in porous media. Such studies have been undertaken at the Marine Science Laboratories where the dynamic elastic parameters and damping characteristics of sediment samples have been obtained via testing in a modified resonant column apparatus. In this device, concurrent acoustic measurements using pulse propagation techniques and continuous sinusoidal wave techniques have allowed the dynamic properties to be obtained over a range of strain levels, strain rates and effective stress conditions. The typical strain amplitudes vary between 0.0001% and 1% with the duration of a single stress reversal ranging from 0.00001 second up to 100 seconds. The results from tests carried out on a range of marine sediment samples have allowed the production of a catalogue of strain level and strain rate correction curves. Thus in situ results from low strain, short duration dynamic loadings, as imposed by a seismo-acoustic pulse, can be corrected via these curves to produce information applicable to dynamic loading under a wide range of strain levels and strain rates.


Effective Stress Strain Amplitude Strain Level Shear Wave Velocity Foundation Vibration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    B. O. Hardin, The nature of stress-strain behaviour for soils, in “Proceedings of American Society of Civil Engineers, Specialty Conference on Earthquake Engineering and Soil Dynamics”, Pasadena, Cal., 11, pp. 3–90. (1978).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    J. D. Bennell, D. Taylor Smith, and A. M. Davis, Resonant column testing of marine sediments, Oceanology Int. 84. (1984).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    P. J. Schultheiss, A note on simultaneous measurement of P and S wave velocities during conventional laboratory soil testing procedures, Marine Geotechnology$14, pp. 343–367. (1981).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    A. W. Bishop, and D. J. Henkel, “The measurement of soil properties in the triaxial test”, 2nd Ed., Edward Arnold, London, 228p. (1962).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    R. D. Woods, Parameters affecting elastic properties, in “Proceedings Dynamical Methods in Soil and Rock Mechanics”, 1, B. Prange, ed., Balkema, Rotterdam. (1978).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    D. G. Anderson, and K. H. Stokoe, II, Shear modulus: A time dependent soil property, in: “Dynamic Geotechnical Testing”, ASTM, STP 654 American Society for Testing and Materials, pp. 66–90. (1978).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    B. O. Hardin, and W. L. Black, Vibration modulus of normally consoled ated clay, J. Soil Mech. and Found. Div., ASCE$194, pp. 353–369. (1968).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    V. P. Drnevich, J. R. Hall, Jr., and F. E. Richart, Jr., Effect of amplitude of vibration on the shear modulus of sand, in “Proceedings of the International Symposium on Wave Propagation and Dynamic Properties of Earth Materials”, Albuquerque, N.M., pp. 189–199, (1967).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    C. P. Abbi ss, Shear wave measurements of the elasticity of the ground, Geotechnique$131, pp. 91–104. (1981).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. M. Davis
    • 1
  • J. D. Bennell
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Ocean SciencesUniversity College of North WalesBangorUK

Personalised recommendations