Organic Material and Soil Compressibility

by Orlando B. Andersland, (M.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, Mich.,
Abdul-Amir W.N. Al-Khafaji, Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of Detroit, Detroit, Mich.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1980, Vol. 106, Issue 7, Pg. 749-758

Document Type: Journal Paper


Compression tests on model organic soils have shown that higher organic fractions significantly increase soil compressibility. Precise control over organic content, fiber type and size, and mineral type in the model soil were made possible using kaolinite-fiber mixtures. A plot of organic fraction versus void ratio for selected pressure levels showed linear relationships. The two variables, organic fraction and pressure, were uncoupled by plotting intercepts and slopes for the straight lines against consolidation pressure giving two void ratio parameters. Excellent agreement was observed between predicted and field equilibrium void ratios for available data on papermill sludge. Combining initial and final effective overburden pressures with existing organic fractions permits prediction of void ratios needed for settlement prediction using conventional soil mechanics theory.

Subject Headings: Soil compression | Void ratio | Soil settlement | Soil pressure | Organic matter | Compression tests | Soil tests | Fabrics

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