Electro-Osmotic Consolidation of Soils

by Tai-Yeu Wan, Project Mgr.; Trans-Asia Engrg. Assocs., Inc., Tamuning, Guam,
James K. Mitchell, (M.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of California, Berkeley, Calif.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 5, Pg. 473-491

Document Type: Journal Paper


The theory for soil consolidation by electro-osmosis is presented and extended to two special cases that may be useful in the field, i.e., electrode reversal to produce more uniform water content decrease and strength increase between electrodes and superposition of consolidation by electro-osmosis onto that due to direct load. It is shown that the Terzaghi consolidation equation describes the rate of consolidation so long as the voltage distribution remains constant with time. Experimental results show reasonable conformity with the theory for the case where soil properties remain essentially constant during electro-osmotic consolidation. Test results support the electrode reversal technique as a means for accelerating consolidation by electro-osmosis and for establishment of uniform properties between electrodes.

Subject Headings: Consolidated soils | Osmosis | Soil strength | Soil water | Water content | Load factors | Distinguished engineers | Soil analysis

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