Silty sand can be prone to erosion because it is short of stability cementation materials. In recent years, various emerging soil stabilizers, especially natural organic substance and polymer, have been used to improve soil strength, water stability and ability of erosion resistance. In this study, a new type of soil stabilization additive modified carboxymethyl cellulose (M-CMC), consisting of carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) and polyacrylamide (PAM), was developed for stabilization treatment of silty sand. A series of laboratory tests were conducted to evaluate the performance of M-CMC application on shear strength, permeability, water susceptibility and microstructure of the silty sand soil treated with additive concentration range of 0% - 1.3%. Moreover, rainfall simulation experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of M-CMC on the erosion control of silty sand which compacted soil in a large-sized runoff (1 m2) plots. Test plot which treated with 1.1% concentration of soil stabilizer and control plot which treated with same amount of water were cured outdoor for 50 days before rainfall simulation test. Rainfall intensity was applied at 120 mm·h-1 for 60 min. Finally, a field test is performed in order to assess the practical application effect of silty sand with 1.1% M-CMC. In general, the results showed that an increase of the concentration of M-CMC resulted in an improvement in water susceptibility and shear strength but a decrease in the infiltration rate. Internal friction angle of the treated soil remarkably increased under a low M-CMC concentration (less than 0.7%), while cohesion of them sharply increased under a relatively high M-CMC concentration (larger than 0.7%). Water susceptibility of the treated samples was improved remarkably under a relatively high M-CMC concentration (larger than 0.7%). Permeability coefficient of them decreased significantly when the M-CMC concentration was increased from 0 to 0.5% and, then, from 0.9% to 1.3%. Based on the images obtained from a scanning electron microscopy (SEM), the “coating” and “netting” effects were attributable to the observed improvement of the treated soil. When a plot was protected by a thin layer of soil treated with 1.1% MCMC, its erosion resistance was greatly improved, infiltration rate of water and soil loss yield of plot decreased greatly and even though under a rainfall intensity of 120 mm·h-1. The field test with long-term monitoring (three years) confirmed the M-CMC can effectively control erosion of silty sand slopes for a prolonged period of time.
Soil stabilization Water susceptibility permeability Erosion Water retention Cementation
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We are grateful to editor for his helpful suggestions and meticulous editing, as well as two anonymous reviewers for their critical questions and insightful comments which helped to improve the original manuscript. This study was financially supported by the National Key R & D Program (2017YFC1501002), the Major Program of the National Science Foundation of China (No. 41790445).
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