Deep sampling and testing in soft stratified clay

Simon James Cummings, Vinayagamoothy Sivakumar, I.G. Doran, J. Graham

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    2 Citations (Scopus)


    A 37-m thick layer of stratified clay encountered during a site investigation at Swann's Bridge, near the sea-coast at Limavady, Northern Ireland, is one of the deepest and thickest layers of this type of material recorded in Ireland. A study of the relevant literature and stratigraphic evidence obtained from the site investigation showed that despite being close to the current shoreline, the clay was deposited in a fresh-water glacial lake formed approximately 13 000 BP. The 37-m layer of clay can be divided into two separate zones. The lower zone was deposited as a series of laminated layers of sand, silt, and clay, whereas the upper zone was deposited as a largely homogeneous mixture. A comprehensive series of tests was carried out on carefully selected samples from the full thickness of the deposit. The results obtained from these tests were complex and confusing, particularly the results of tests done on samples from the lower zone. The results of one-dimensional compression tests, unconsolidated undrained triaxial tests, and consolidated undrained triaxial compression tests showed that despite careful sampling, all of the specimens from the lower zone exhibited behaviour similar to that of reconstituted clays. It was immediately clear that the results needed explanation. This paper studies possible causes of the results from tests carried out on the lower Limavady clay. It suggests a possible mechanism based on anisotropic elasticity, yielding, and destructuring that provides an understanding of the observed behaviour.Key words: clay, laminations, disturbance, yielding, destructuring, reconstituted.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)575-586
    Number of pages12
    JournalCanadian Geotechnical Journal
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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