Ingenieurgeologie und Tonmineralogie vulkanogener Sedimente

  • K.-H. Heitfeld
  • W. Echle
  • H. Düllmann
  • R. Azzam
  • R. Hasenpatt
Conference paper


Excavation of deep roadcuts in tuffitic sediments of the northern ‘Siebengebirge’ montains, W-Germany, have entailed considerable slope failures. Oligocene tuffs and tuffites of the trachytic Siebengebirge volcanism are deposited on tertiary sand and coal or directly on residual clays of the Devonian basement. Because the sliding planes (inclination 6° – 10°) cannot be explained by the easily determined Standard soil parameters, extensive geotechnical and clay-mineralogical investigations were carried out. The tuffites are of variable grain size depending on their degree of weathering and decomposition. Predominantly, however, they may be classified as fine-sandy, clayey silts.

Clay-mineralogical analyses have proved that the tuffites consist of smectites, illites, kaolinites and quartzes, while the thin gliding planes contain over 6 0 percent of highly swellable montmorillonites.

The swelling of tuffitic sediments was tested under different conditions in order to establish the relation of swell pressure and deformation. The tests have proved a significant dependence of the swelling potential on following soil parameters: initial water content, liquid limit, anddry density.

The shear strength of the material was tested in the ring-shear appa’ratus, considering the shear path and the degree of particle orientation. A new test method was developed which allows to carry out ring-shear tests on normal and overconsolidated samples and constant volume.

To eliminate the influence of surcharges the shear stress and the normal stress were standardized by an equivalent normal stress. The tests have proved that the angle of internal friction is a soil-specific parameter and that the cohesion depends upon the void ratio, increasingly with growing overconsolidation. In addition to the ring-shear tests, triaxial cu-tests were carried out and interpreted according to the critical-state-theory.

The post-failure behaviour of tuffites can be described as follows:
  • the residual shear strength depends on the overconsolidation ratio

  • normally Consolidated samples are deformed plastically

  • overconsolidated samples show discrete shear joints

  • after 8 cm shear displacement a residual shear strength of overconsolidated undisturbed samples of only 3 0 percent (8°) of the maximum strength remains; this compares well with calculations based on actual failures.

According to the investigations the main reason of slope failure in swellable overconsolidated tuffites is the decline of the shear strength after load relief by roadcutting. Usually, the failure starts at the base and expands progressively into the slope.

The orientation of clay minerals supports the decline of shear strength after initial movements.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Andreasen (1930) Ein Apparat zur Feinheitsbestimmung nach der Pipettenmethode mit besonderem Hinblick auf Betriebsuntersuchungen. Ber Deut Keram Ges 11, 249 SGoogle Scholar
  2. Azzam R (1984) Experimentelle und theoretische Untersuchungen zum Quell-, Kompressions- und Scherfestigkeitsverhalten tuffitischer Sedimente und deren Bedeutung für die Standsicherheitsanalyse tiefer Einschnittböschungen. Diss RWTH Aachen in: Mitteilungen zur Ingenieurgeologie und Hydrogeologie 18, AachenGoogle Scholar
  3. Bishop AW & Donald IB (1961) The Experimental Study of Partly Saturated Soil in the Triaxial Apparatus. Proc 5th Int Conf Soil Mech Found Eng Paris, S. 19–21Google Scholar
  4. Heitfeld K-H, Azzam R & Düllmann H (1980) Deformability and Shear Strength of Swellable Tuffitic Sediments. Bul Int Ass Eng Geol 22: 195–199, KrefeldGoogle Scholar
  5. Hvorslev MJ (1937) über die Festigkeitseigenschaften gestörter bindiger Böden. Ingenioervidensk Sk, Se A, Nr 45, 143 S, KopenhagenGoogle Scholar
  6. Kenney TC (1967) The Influence of Mineral Composition on the Residual Strength of Natural Soils. Proc Geotechn Conf Oslo, Vol 1: 123–129Google Scholar
  7. Lagaly G & Weiss A (1971) Neue Methoden zur Charakterisierung und Identifizierung guellungsfähiger Dreischichttonminerale. Z Pflanzenern Düng Bodenkunde 130: 9–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Lagaly G (1979) The “layer-charge” of regulär interstratified 2: 1 clay minerals. Clays and Clay Minerals 27: 1–10Google Scholar
  9. Lagaly G (1981) Characterization of clays by organic Compounds. Clay Minerals 16: 1 - 16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Mackenzie R (1951) A micromethod for determination of cation exchange capacity of clays. J of Colloid Sei 6: 219–222Google Scholar
  11. Müller-Vonmoos M (1971) Zur Korngrößenfraktionierung tonreicher Sedimente. Schweiz Min u Petrol Mitt 51Google Scholar
  12. Müller-Vonmoos M, Kahr Gu Rub A (1977) DTA-TG-MS in the investigation of clays. Quantitative determination of H2O, CO and CO2 by evolved gas analysis with a mass spectrometer. Thermochimica Acta 20: 387–393CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ranaganatham BV & Satyanarayana B (1965) A Rational Method of Predicting Swelling Potential for Compacted Expansive Clays. Proc 6th Int Conf Soil Mech Found Eng Montreal, S. 9 2–96Google Scholar
  14. Ranaganatham BV & Satyanarayana B (1968) Interactions of Primary Factors on Swell and Swell Pressures. J Indian Soc Soil Mech Found Eng 7: 23–39Google Scholar
  15. Skempton AW (1951) The Measurement of the Shear Strength of Soil. CMSS Geot 2: 90 SGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • K.-H. Heitfeld
    • 1
  • W. Echle
    • 2
  • H. Düllmann
    • 3
  • R. Azzam
    • 1
  • R. Hasenpatt
    • 2
  1. 1.Lehrstuhl für Ingenieurgeologie und HydrogeologieRWTH AachenAachenGermany
  2. 2.Institut für Mineralogie und LagerstättenlehreRWTH AachenAachenGermany
  3. 3.Geotechnisches BüroAachenGermany

Personalised recommendations