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Mineralogical and engineering properties of problematic expansive clayey beds causing landslides

  • Al-Homoud A. S. 
  • Khoury H. 
  • Al-Omari Y. A. 
Article

Abstract

Many landslides have occurred at slope cuts-embankments adjacent to the Amman-Na'ur-Dead Sea and Irbid-Jerash-Amman highways in Jordan, especially during the last four years that were characterized by exceptional raifall during winter. Clayey beds found in the foundations of the failing areas were responsible for the occurrence of these landslides.

This paper presents the results of research evaluating the chemical and engineering properties of the clayey beds in the Kurnub Sandstone Unit and the Ajlun Group of the Upper Cretaceous at twenty four landslîde locations along the Amman-Na'ur-Dead Sea and Irbid-Jerash Amman highways. The clay minerals associated with the clayey beds were characterized and correlated with their engineering properties. The relationship between clay minerals, chemical and engineering properties of clayey beds and the foundation failures were also identified.

The study included field visits to twenty four landslides sites to identify the problem, collect samples from the foundation along the slip surface, draw profiles and columnar sections.

Chemical analysis was carried out for the whole rock sample and for clay samples. Tests were also conducted to evaluate the physical and engineering properties of the samples.

Results showed that most of the landslides occurred within the upper part of the Kurnub Sandstone and the Na'ur formation.

Quartz, calcite and dolomite are the non-clay minerals and Mixed-Layer (I/S) and kaolinite are the clay minerals identified for samples obtained from the studied areas.

The jointed rocks allowed water to penetrate through the joints and reach the clayey beds. The ability of the mixed-layer (I/S) clays to expand in the presence of water resulted in the reduction of shear strength during rainfall, thus initiating the sliding process. The double-layer effect was noticed in samples with higher (I/S) content which gave the highest swelling potential, highest Liquid and Plastic Limits, and the lowest angle of friction.

Keywords

Clay Mineral Kaolinite Liquid Limit Internal Friction Angle Direct Shear Test 

Caractéristiques minéralogiques et géotechniques de lits argileux expansifs à l'origine de glissements de terrain

Résumé

De nombreux glissements de tarrain se sont produits dans des déblais des autoroutes Amman-Na'ur-Mer Morte et Irbid-Jerash-amman en Jordanie, en particulier au cours des deux dernières années, qui ont été caractérisées par des chutes de pluie exceptionnelles en hiver. Les lits argileux présents dans les zones atteintes sont à l'origine de ces glissements. Le présent article présente les résultats des recherches sur les propriétés chimiques et géotechniques de ces lits argileux, à partir des prélèvements effectués sur 24 glissements. Les relations entre la nature et la quantité de minéraux argileux et leur comportement en place dans les glissements sont également étudiés.

L'étude inclut des visites de terrain sur les 24 sites, la collecte d'échantillons le long des surfaces de glissement, des profils et des coupes sériées.

Les analyses chimiques ont porté sur les échantillons globaux et sur les argiles.

Le quartz, la calcite et la dolomite sont les minéraux non argileux les plus répandus et les interstratifiés et la kaolinite sont les minéraux argileux rencontrés dans les secteurs étudiés.

Les roches fissurées ont permis à l'eau de pénétrer jusqu'aux lits argileux. Les niveaux à minéraux argileux interstraifiés ont gonflé réduisant la résistance au cisaillement durant les pluies, déclenchant ainsi le processus de glissement.

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Copyright information

© International Association of Engineering Geology 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Al-Homoud A. S. 
    • 1
  • Khoury H. 
    • 2
  • Al-Omari Y. A. 
    • 2
  1. 1.Jordan University of Science and TechnologyIrbid-Jordan
  2. 2.Jordan UniversityAmman-Jordan

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