Appraisal of the Irreversible Effect of Organic Compounds on Geotechnical Properties of Clays


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by Oksana Paykov, (S.M.ASCE), Graduate Research Assistant; Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, California State University, Fullerton, 800 N. State College Blvd., Fullerton CA 92834, opaykov@csu.fullerton.edu,
Binod Tiwari, Ph.D., (S.M.ASCE), Asst. Professor; Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, California State University, Fullerton, 800 N. State College Blvd E-419, Fullerton, CA 92834, btiwari@fullerton.edu,
Adrian Correa, Undergraduate Student; Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, California State University, Fullerton.,
Silman Ruiz, Undergraduate Student; Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, California State University, Fullerton.,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: GeoCongress 2012: State of the Art and Practice in Geotechnical Engineering

Abstract: According to U.S. EPA, there are 488,496 confirmed cases of leaky underground storage tanks (UST) nationwide as of September 30, 2009. Soil contamination due to oil spills and leaky USTs has a direct impact on geotechnical properties of affected soil and, therefore, on already existing structures such as foundation embankments and clay liners. In addition, it has been a common practice to use contaminated soil as a fill material or roadway sub-base material. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate the effect of oil contamination on physical and mechanical properties of soil. Prior studies have shown the effect of pore fluid chemistry on the soil properties, such as permeability and shear strength. Dielectric constant and fluid viscosity have been found to have the major influence on soil behavior. However, the number of studies is very limited, especially when it is related to geotechnical properties of clays. The current study examines the effect of gasoline on geotechnical properties of high-plasticity and low-plasticity clay. Then, the effect of pore fluid properties on the observed behavior of clay is studied in closer details. The study demonstrated that dielectric constant alone can't be attributed to the changes in geotechnical properties of soil. Adsorption process, however, was found to influence soil properties at lower concentrations of contaminant.

Subject Headings: Soil properties | Soil pollution | Clays | Organic compounds | Storage tanks | Underground storage | Clay liners | Hazardous materials spills |

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