Mechanisms Controlling Compressibility of Clays

by Roy E. Olson, (M.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX,
Gholamreza Mesri, (A.M.ASCE), Asst. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of Illinois at Urbana, Urbana, IL,

Serial Information: Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division, 1970, Vol. 96, Issue 6, Pg. 1863-1878

Document Type: Journal Paper


The consolidation characteristics of clays are controlled by mechanical and physico-chemical effects. Although these effects operate simultaneously one-dimensional consolidation tests indicate that one or the other usually dominates. The consolidation characteristics of sands, mica, and kaolinite are mechanically controlled whereas those of smectite are physico-chemically controlled. Illite occupies an intermediate position in that the virgin compression curve seems to be controlled by mechanical variables, whereas the swelling curve is influenced by both effects; the physico-chemical effect is more important when the adsorbed cations are monovalent and the pore water electrolyte concentration is low.

Subject Headings: Consolidated soils | Curvature | Clays | Soil compression | Pore water | Expansive soils | Soil water | Compression

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