Changes in Strength of Silt Due to Freeze-Thaw

by Bernard D. Alkire, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Michigan Technological Univ., Houghton, Mich.,
Jahangir Jashimuddin, Grad. Research Asst.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Michigan Technological Univ., Houghton, Mich.,

Serial Information: Journal of Technical Topics in Civil Engineering, 1984, Vol. 110, Issue 1, Pg. 48-53

Document Type: Journal Paper


A laboratory test program was conducted to determine the effect of water content on strength of a Manchester silt subjected to freeze-thaw. Samples were prepared at 10% and 20% moisture and 90 pcf and 100 pcf dry density. Laboratory vane shear tests were conducted on unfrozen samples and samples subjected to both open and closed system freezing. Strength anisotropy was investigated by inserting the vane in both the vertical and horizontal direction. The results showed that strength is closely related to moisture content for both unfrozen and thawed soil. In addition, freeze-thaw caused an increase in strength for samples held at a constant water content while the strength decreased if water content increased. The effect of freeze-thaw was attributed to a change in fabric of the silt or a change in pore pressure or both attributed to increased moisture.

Subject Headings: Soil strength | Water content | Soil water | Laboratory tests | Silt | Frozen soils | Freeze and thaw | Moisture

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