Chemically Induced Foundation Heave

by Richard W. Stephenson, Univ of Missouri-Rolla, United States,
Brian A. Dempsey, Univ of Missouri-Rolla, United States,
John B. Heagler, Jr., Univ of Missouri-Rolla, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Foundation Engineering: Current Principles and Practices


The Kerr-McGee Electrolysis Plant in Henderson, Nevada has had recorded upward movements of portions of the building in excess of 18 inches. Contours of the measured heave indicate that the zone of heave had been increasing in lateral extent as well. The objectives of the study were to develop a better understanding of the cause and effect relationships associated with the foundation heave. Based on the results of the subsurface exploration program and the laboratory investigation program, it appears as if the cause of the foundation heave at Unit 6 of the Henderson Facility was the volume expansion that occurs when calcite in the natural soil is exposed to sulfuric acid and is converted into gypsum.

Subject Headings: Heave | Subsurface investigation | Shallow foundations | Foundations | Chemicals | Uplifting behavior | Swelling (material) | Nevada | United States

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