A Use of Geostatistics to Predict the Occurrence of Collapsing Soils

by Edward A. Nowatzki, Univ of Arizona, United States,
Molla M. Ali, Univ of Arizona, United States,
Donald E. Myers, Univ of Arizona, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Foundation Engineering: Current Principles and Practices


Collapse susceptible soils are those that are stable under load while they are dry, but undergo large decreases in volume virtually instantaneously, when they become wetted to near saturation moisture contents while under the same load. Their occurrence is widespread throughout the world, mostly in arid and semi-arid regions. In the United States they are found predominantly in the southwest and midwest. Probability contour plots having known variance of estimation were generalized for the probability of occurrence of soils having 'low', medium', and 'high' collapse susceptibility. The probability and estimated variance contour maps, when superimposed on a grid map of the study area for each level of collapse susceptibility, can be used to estimate the probability of occurrence of collapse susceptible soils with known variance of estimation even for areas where no test data are available. Contour plots of the probability of encountering soils having high collapse susceptibility based on the collapse-related parameter are presented in this paper for illustration.

Subject Headings: Saturated soils | Soil water | Failure loads | Arid lands | Mapping | Water content | Probability | Collapsible soils | United States

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