American Society of Civil Engineers

Influence of Structure and Composition on Residual Soils

by Laurence D. Wesley, M.ASCE, (Sr. Lect., Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand)

Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, Vol. 116, No. 4, April 1990, pp. 589-603, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Discussion: by Robert W. Day    (See full record)
Discussion: by W. J. Morin and et al.    (See full record)
Discussion: by John H. Schmertmann    (See full record)
Discussion: by G. L. Sivakumar Babu and et al.    (See full record)
Closure:(See full record)
Abstract: The various formation factors responsible for differences in behavior between residual soils and sedimentary (transported) soils are described. The extent to which classical soil mechanics concepts derived from the study of sedimentary soils are applicable to residual soils is examined and discussed. It is shown that residual soils can be wrongly evaluated as problem soils simply because some aspects of their behavior do not conform to that of sedimentary soil. The relative importance of composition and structure in influencing residual soil behavior is examined by carrying out consolidation and triaxial tests on three residual soils, namely, a silt, a tropical red clay, and an andosol (volcanic ash soil). The need for an empirical or theoretical framework applicable to residual soils, in place of the stress history framework used with sedimentary soils, is discussed.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Residual soils
Soil consolidation
Soil mechanics
Soil structures
Soil tests
Triaxial tests