American Society of Civil Engineers

Correlations for Zero Effective Stress Void Ratio of Fine-Grained Marine and Riverine Sediments

by P. H. Morris, (Res. Fellow, Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia. E-mail:

Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal and Ocean Engineering, Vol. 133, No. 4, July/August 2007, pp. 305-308, (doi:

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Document type: Technical Note
Abstract: The void ratio at zero effective stress is the origin for measuring strains in fine-grained marine and riverine sediments and similar materials deposited in land impoundments, and is thus an important parameter in consolidation calculations. However, it is difficult to determine accurately by experiment, and existing correlations are unsatisfactory. New empirical correlations are presented that relate the zero effective stress void ratios of fine-grained sediments to the initial void ratios or moisture contents of the slurries from which they form. The new correlations are statistically very strong and enable zero effective stress void ratios to be estimated with relatively small errors. They are applicable to a wide range of materials, but must be applied with caution to materials with very high plasticity or high organic contents.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Fine-grained soils
Organic matter
Soil consolidation
Soil settlement