Correcting Shear Strength for Temperature

by William E. Kelly, (A.M.ASCE),

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1978, Vol. 104, Issue 5, Pg. 664-667

Document Type: Journal Paper


Temperature differences between the ocean floor and the laboratory are large enough (20° C or more) so that corrections to shear strength for temperature need to be considered. This paper describes part of an investigation into the effects of temperature on geotechnical properties of weak deep-ocean sediments and proposes an empirical correction. A number of investigators have reported on the effects of temperature on shear strength. Much that has been published is summarized by Mitchell. In general, a decrease in temperature is expected to cause an increase in shear strength and vice-versa, although some exceptions to this trend have been observed. Most studies to date have dealt with remolded or compacted soils considerably stronger that those of interest in this study. One exception, is the investigation by Kallsteniu (1) on a Swedish clay in which strengths at 10° C were observed to be only about 4% higher then those at 50° C.

Subject Headings: Shear strength | Temperature effects | Soil strength | Compacted soils | Floors | Geotechnical investigation | Seas and oceans | Sediment

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