Advertisement

Acta Geotechnica

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 35–56 | Cite as

Quantification of desiccation cracks using X-ray tomography for tracing shrinkage path of compacted expansive soil

  • M. Julina
  • T. ThyagarajEmail author
Research Paper

Abstract

Compacted expansive soils undergo large volumetric changes during wet–dry cycles owing to the seasonal moisture fluctuations, and during drying the shrinkage is accompanied with the desiccation cracks. This paper presents the shrinkage behaviour of compacted expansive soil specimen, under a vertical stress of 12.5 kPa, in terms of void ratio–water content plot during second drying cycle. Accurate characterization of shrinkage behaviour along with the soil–water characteristic curve in terms of degree of saturation versus water content helps in the development of constitutive relation such as void ratio–suction relationship, which is vital for the prediction of unsaturated soil properties. However, the expansive soils develop large desiccation cracks during drying, which hinder the accurate volume measurement of desiccated soil specimen using vernier caliper as the vernier caliper measurements do not capture the volume of cracks developed within the soil specimen. The mercury displacement method and fluid displacement methods measure the volume of the soil specimens accurately, but the methods are either destructive or hazardous, and consequently, the continuous measurements are not possible. In order to overcome these limitations, the XCT imaging experiments were carried out along with the image analysis technique using ImageJ software and vernier caliper height measurements for tracing the volume change during the second drying path. The exact volume change during and at the end of drying process was estimated by deducting the cracks volume from the volume of specimen arrived from the vernier caliper measurements. Also the volume change at the end of drying process was measured using both XCT imaging experiments and mercury displacement method, and the results were compared. The cracks volume was used for defining the void ratios pertaining to specific components like cracks void ratio, annular gap void ratio, discontinuities void ratio (annular gap + cracks), soil pores void ratio and total void ratio (including and excluding the annular gap). The experimental results in terms of void ratio pertaining to various components, during drying process, were presented in terms of void ratio–water content plots and compared with the void ratio–water content plot of specimen reconstituted from slurry. The void ratio–matric suction constitutive relationship was developed from the void ratio–water content plot and soil–water characteristic curve.

Keywords

Desiccation cracks Shrinkage behaviour Volume change X-ray tomography 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Prof. Krishnan Balasubramanian and Mr. K. Raghuvarun, Center for Non-Destructive Evaluation Laboratory, for the permission to use the laboratory and for helping in the X-ray tomography scanning, respectively.

References

  1. 1.
    Albright WH, Benson CH, Gee GW, Abichou T, McDonald EV, Tyler SW, Rock SA (2006) Field performance of a compacted clay landfill final cover at a humid site. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 132(11):1393–1403.  https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)1090-0241(2006)132:11(1393) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Al-Homoud AS, Basma AA, Malkawi AIH, Al Bashabsheh MA (1995) Cyclic swelling behavior of clays. J Geotech Eng 121(7):562–565.  https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9410(1995)121:7(562) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Alikarami R, Andò E, Gkiousas-Kapnisis M, Torabi A, Viggiani G (2015) Strain localisation and grain breakage in sand under shearing at high mean stress: insights from in situ X-ray tomography. Acta Geotech 10:15–30.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11440-014-0364-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Andò E, Hall SA, Viggiani G, Desrues J, Bésuelle P (2012) Grain-scale experimental investigation of localised deformation in sand: a discrete particle tracking approach. Acta Geotech 7:1–13.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11440-011-0151-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Andò E, Viggiani G, Hall SA, Desrues J (2013) Experimental micro-mechanics of granular media studied by X-ray tomography: recent results and challenges. Géotech Lett 3(3):142–146.  https://doi.org/10.1680/geolett.13.00036 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    ASTM D4943-08 (2008) Standard test method for shrinkage factors of soils by the wax method (Withdrawn 2017)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    ASTM D5298-16 (2016) Standard test method for measurement of soil potential (suction) using filter paper, ASTM International, West ConshohockenGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    ASTM D427-04 (2004) Test method for shrinkage factors of soils by the mercury method (Withdrawn 2008)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Auvray R, Rosin-Paumier S, Abdallah A, Masrouri F (2014) Quantification of soft soil cracking during suction cycles by image processing. Eur J Environ Civil Eng 18(1):11–32.  https://doi.org/10.1080/19648189.2013.840250 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Basma AA, Al-Homoud AS, Malkawi AIH, Al-Bashabsheh MA (1996) Swelling-shrinkage behavior of natural expansive clays. Appl Clay Sci 11(2–4):211–227.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0169-1317(96)00009-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Bésuelle P, Viggiani G, Desrues J, Coll C, Charrier P (2014) A laboratory experimental study of the hydromechanical behavior of boom clay. Rock Mech Rock Eng 47(1):143–155.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00603-013-0421-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    BIS 2720-Part 6 (1972) Indian standard code of practice for method of test for soils: determination of shrinkage factorsGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Borsic A, Comina C, Foti S, Lancellotta R, Musso G (2005) Imaging heterogeneities with electrical impedance tomography: laboratory results. Géotechnique 55(7):539–547.  https://doi.org/10.1680/geot.2005.55.7.539 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Braudeau E, Constantini JM, Bellier G, Colleuille H (1999) New device and method for soil shrinkage curve measurement and characterization. Soil Sci Soc Am J 63(3):525–535CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    BS 1337-Part 2 (1990) Methods of test for soils for civil engineering purposes. Classification testsGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Christe P, Bernasconi M, Vontobel P, Turberg P, Parriaux A (2007) Three-dimensional petrographical investigations on borehole rock samples: a comparison between X-ray computed-and neutron tomography. Acta Geotech 2:269–279.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11440-007-0045-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Cornelis WM, Corluy J, Medina H, Diaz J, Hartmann R, Van Meirvenne M, Ruiz ME (2006) Measuring and modelling the soil shrinkage characteristic curve. Geoderma 137(1–2):179–191.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2006.08.022 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Cosentini RM, Vecchia DG, Foti S, Musso G (2012) Estimation of the hydraulic parameters of unsaturated samples by electrical resistivity tomography. Géotechnique 62(7):583–594.  https://doi.org/10.1680/geot.10.P.066 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Costa S, Kodikara J, Shannon B (2013) Salient factors controlling desiccation cracking of clay in laboratory experiments. Géotechnique 63(1):18–29.  https://doi.org/10.1680/geot.9.P.105 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Costa S, Kodikara J, Thusyanthan NI (2008) Study of desiccation crack evolution using image analysis. Unsaturated soils: advances in geo-engineering. Taylor and Francis Group, LondonGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Day RW (1994) Swell–shrink behavior of compacted clay. J Geotech Eng 120(3):618–623.  https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9410(1994)120:3(618) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Fredlund DG (2002) Use of soil–water characteristic curves in the implementation of unsaturated soil mechanics. In: Proceedings of the 3rd international conference on unsaturated soils, Recife, March, Brazil 3:10–13Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Fredlund DG, Stone J, Stianson J, Sedgwick A (2011) Determination of water storage and permeability functions for oil sands tailings. In: Proceedings tailings and mine waste, VancouverGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Gebrenegus T, Tuller M, Muhunthan B (2006) The application of X-ray computed tomography for characterization of surface crack networks in bentonite-sand mixtures. In: Desrues J, Viggiani G, Besuelle P (eds) Advances in X-ray tomography for geomaterials. ISTE Ltd., London, pp 207–212Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Groisman A, Kaplan E (1994) An experimental study of cracking induced by desiccation. Europhys Lett 25(6):415–420CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Holtz RD, Kovacs WD, Sheashan TC (2011) An introduction to geotechnical engineering. Pearson Education Inc, Upper Saddle RiverGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Kodikara JK, Barbour SL, Fredlund DG (2000) Desiccation cracking of soil layers. In: Proceedings of Asian conference on unsaturated soils: from theory to practice, pp 693–698Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Lakshmikantha MR, Prat PC, Ledesma A (2009) Image analysis for the quantification of a developing crack network on a drying soil. ASTM Geotech Test J 32(6):1–11.  https://doi.org/10.1520/GTJ102216 Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Lakshmikantha MR, Prat PC, Ledesma A (2012) Experimental evidence of size effect in soil cracking. Can Geotech J 49:264–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Lin LC, Benson CH (2000) Effect of wet–dry cycling on swelling and hydraulic conductivity of GCLs. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 126(1):40–49.  https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)1090-0241(2000)126:1(40) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Lloret A, Villar MV, Sánchez M, Gens A, Pintado X, Alonso EE (2003) Mechanical behaviour of heavily compacted bentonite under high suction changes. Géotechnique 53(1):27–40.  https://doi.org/10.1680/geot.2003.53.1.27 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Miller CJ, Mi H, Yesiller N (1998) Experimental analysis of desiccation crack propagation in clay liners. J Am Water Resour Assoc 34(3):677–686.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1752-1688.1998.tb00964.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Morris PH, Graham J, Williams DJ (1992) Cracking in drying soils. Can Geotech J 29(2):263–277CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Musso G, Romero E, Vecchia GD (2013) Double-structure effects on the chemo-hydro-mechanical behaviour of a compacted active clay. Géotechnique 63(3):206–220.  https://doi.org/10.1680/bcmpge.60531.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Nahlawi H, Kodikara JK (2006) Laboratory experiments on desiccation cracking of thin soil layers. Geotech Geol Eng 24(6):1641–1664.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10706-005-4894-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Nelson JD, Miller DJ (1992) Expansive soils: problems and practice in foundation and pavement engineering. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Nowamooz H, Masrouri F (2008) Hydromechanical behaviour of an expansive bentonite/silt mixture in cyclic suction-controlled drying and wetting tests. Eng Geol 101(3):154–164.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enggeo.2008.04.011 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Nowamooz H, Masrouri F (2010) Influence of suction cycles on the soil fabric of compacted swelling soil. CR Geosci 342(12):901–910.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.crte.2010.10.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Péron H, Hueckel T, Laloui L, Hu L (2009) Fundamentals of desiccation cracking of fine-grained soils: experimental characterisation and mechanisms identification. Can Geotech J 46:1177–1201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Puppala AJ, Katha B, Hoyos LR (2004) Volumetric shrinkage strain measurements in expansive soils using digital imaging technology. ASTM Geotech Test J 27(6):547–556.  https://doi.org/10.1520/GTJ12069 Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Rao KSS, Rao SM, Gangadhara S (2000) Swelling behavior of a desiccated clay. ASTM Geotech Test J 23(2):193–198.  https://doi.org/10.1520/GTJ11043J CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Rasband WS (2006) “ImageJ” National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. https://imagej.nih.gov/ij/, 1997–2016
  43. 43.
    Romero E (2013) A microstructural insight into compacted clayey soils and their hydraulic properties. Engng. Geol. 165:3–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Romero E, Vecchia GD, Jommi C (2011) An insight into the water retention properties of compacted clayey soils. Géotechnique 61(4):313–328.  https://doi.org/10.1680/geot.2011.61.4.313 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Saba S, Barnichon JD, Cui YJ, Tang AM, Delage P (2014) Microstructure and anisotropic swelling behaviour of compacted bentonite/sand mixture. J Rock Mech Geotech Eng 6:126–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Sanchez M, Atique A, Kim S, Romero E, Zielinski M (2013) Exploring desiccation cracks in soils using a 2D profile laser device. Acta Geotech 8:583–596.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11440-013-0272-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Shin H, Santamarina JC (2011) Desiccation cracks in saturated fine-grained soils: particle-level phenomena and effective-stress analysis. Géotechnique 61(11):961–972CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Singh SP, Rout S, Tiwari A (2017) Quantification of desiccation cracks using image analysis technique. Int J Geotech Eng.  https://doi.org/10.1080/19386362.2017.1282400 Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Sridharan A, Prakash K (1998) Mechanism controlling shrinkage limit of soils. ASTM Geotech Test J 21(3):240–250.  https://doi.org/10.1520/GTJ10897J CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Sun H, Chen JF, Ge XR (2004) Deformation characteristics of silty clay subjected to triaxial loading, by computerised tomography. Géotechnique 54(5):307–314.  https://doi.org/10.1680/geot.2004.54.5.307 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Suuronen JP, Matusewicz M, Olin M, Serimaa R (2014) X-ray studies on the nano-and microscale anisotropy in compacted clays: comparison of bentonite and purified calcium montmorillonite. Appl Clay Sci 101:401–408.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clay.2014.08.015 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Tang CS, Cui YJ, Shi B, Tang AM, Liu C (2011) Desiccation and cracking behaviour of clay layer from slurry state under wetting–drying cycles. Geoderma 166(1):111–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Tang CS, Cui YJ, Tang AM, Shi B (2010) Experiment evidence on the temperature dependence of desiccation cracking behavior of clayey soils. Eng Geol 114(3–4):261–266.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enggeo.2010.05.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Tang CS, Shi B, Cui YJ, Liu C, Gu K (2012) Desiccation cracking behavior of polypropylene fiber–reinforced clayey soil. Can Geot J 49(9):1088–1101.  https://doi.org/10.1139/t2012-067 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Tang CS, Shi B, Liu C, Suo WB, Gao L (2011) Experimental characterization of shrinkage and desiccation cracking in thin clay layer. Appl Clay Sci 52(1–2):69–77.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clay.2011.01.032 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Tang C, Shi B, Liu C, Zhao L, Wang B (2008) Influencing factors of geometrical structure of surface shrinkage cracks in clayey soils. Eng Geol 101(3–4):204–217.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enggeo.2008.05.005 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Tay YY, Stewart DI, Cousens TW (2001) Shrinkage and desiccation cracking in bentonite–sand landfill liners. Eng Geol 60(1–4):263–274.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0013-7952(00)00107-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Thyagaraj T, Rao SM, Suresh PS, Salini U (2012) Laboratory studies on stabilization of an expansive soil by lime precipitation technique. J Mater Civ Eng 24(8):1067–1075.  https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)MT.1943-5533.0000483 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Thyagaraj T, Thomas SR, Das AP (2016) Physico-chemical effects on shrinkage behavior of compacted expansive clay. Int J Geomech 17(2):1–11.  https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)GM.1943-5622.0000698 Google Scholar
  60. 60.
    Thyagaraj T, Zodinsanga S (2014) Swell–shrink behaviour of lime precipitation treated soil. Ground Improv Inst Civil Eng Lond 167(4):260–273.  https://doi.org/10.1680/grim.12.00028 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Tollenaar RN, van Paassen LA, Jommi C (2017) Observations on the desiccation and cracking of clay layers. Eng Geol 230:23–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Tripathy S, Rao KSS (2009) Cyclic swell–shrink behaviour of a compacted expansive soil. Geot Geol Eng 27(1):89–103.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10706-008-9214-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Tripathy S, Rao KSS, Fredlund DG (2002) Water content—void ratio swell–shrink paths of compacted expansive soils. Can Geot J 39(4):938–959.  https://doi.org/10.1139/t02-022 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. 64.
    Viggiani G, Andò E, Takano D, Santamarina JC (2015) Laboratory X-ray tomography: a valuable experimental tool for revealing processes in soils. ASTM Geot J 38(1):61–71.  https://doi.org/10.1520/GTJ20140060 Google Scholar
  65. 65.
    Vilarrasa V, Rutqvist J, Martin LB, Birkholzer J (2015) Use of a dual-structure constitutive model for predicting the long-term behavior of an expansive clay buffer in a nuclear waste repository. Int J Geomech.  https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)GM.1943-5622.0000603,D4015005 Google Scholar
  66. 66.
    Vogel HJ, Hoffmann H, Leopold A, Roth K (2005) Studies of crack dynamics in clay soil: II. A physically based model for crack formation. Geoderma 125:213–223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. 67.
    Wijaya M, Leong EC, Rahardjo H (2015) Effect of shrinkage on air-entry value of soils. Soils Found 55(1):166–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. 68.
    Willson CS, Lu N, Likos WJ (2012) Quantification of grain, pore, and fluid microstructure of unsaturated sand from X-ray computed tomography images. ASTM Geot Test J 35(6):911–923.  https://doi.org/10.1520/GTJ20120075 Google Scholar
  69. 69.
    Yesiller N, Miller CJ, Inci G, Yaldo K (2000) Desiccation and cracking behavior of three compacted landfill liner soils. Eng Geol 57(1–2):105–121.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0013-7952(00)00022-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. 70.
    Yong RN, Warkentin BP (1975) Introduction to soil behavior. Soil properties and behaviour. Elsevier, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  71. 71.
    Zemenu G, Martine A, Roger C (2009) Analysis of the behaviour of a natural expansive soil under cyclic drying and wetting. Bull Eng Geol Env 68:421–436.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10064-009-0203-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. 72.
    Zhao B, Wang J, Coop MR, Viggiani G, Jiang M (2015) An investigation of single sand particle fracture using X-ray micro-tomography. Geotechnique 65(8):625–641.  https://doi.org/10.1680/geot.4.P.157 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology MadrasChennaiIndia

Personalised recommendations