Advertisement

Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering

, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 441–461 | Cite as

Experimental Study on the Water-Induced Weakening of Calcarenites

  • Matteo Oryem Ciantia
  • Riccardo Castellanza
  • Claudio di Prisco
Original Paper

Abstract

Carbonatic rocks, such as calcarenites, are very often subject to damage processes, causing a progressive degradation of their mechanical properties. In nature, in some cases, this phenomenon can cause the collapse of cliffs and underground cavities, with dangerous consequences for the anthropic environment. In this paper, the results of an experimental campaign, intended to both clarify and quantify the mechanical consequences of this process, are illustrated. To achieve such a goal, suitable physical and geotechnical indices are introduced and different time scales to describe the physical/chemical reactions induced by the water saturation of the material are taken into consideration. In particular, the authors have observed: (1) a short-term marked and instantaneous reduction in strength when water fills the pores of the rock; (2) a long-term dissolution; and (3) a progressive chemically induced reduction in the grain size. To describe the degradation processes induced by the material water saturation, owing to the complexity of the hydro-chemo-mechanical phenomena taking place within the material, suitably designed tests under controlled “weathering” conditions were also performed and discussed.

Keywords

Rocks Calcarenite Weathering Hydro-chemo-mechanical experimental tests Hydro-chemo-mechanical coupling 

Abbreviations

STD

Short-term debonding

LTD

Long-term debonding

GDP

Grain dissolution process

UC

Unconfined compression test

BT

Brazilian test

OED

Oedometric compression test

WTD

Weathering testing device

WTD-O

Weathering testing device under oedometric conditions

WTD-U

Weathering testing device under unconfined compression conditions

UCS

Unconfined compression strength

List of symbols

A

Current structure area

A0

Initial structure area

E

Young’s modulus

εr

Radial strain

εa

Axial strain

MTOT

Total calcite mass

MS

Calcite mass in the solid phase

MF

Calcite mass in the fluid phase

MGR

Grain calcite mass

MD–b

Diagenetic bonds mass

MP

Total powder mass

MP–susp

Portion of powder mass suspended in water

MP–b

Portion of powder mass forming the depositional bonds

MSTRU

Structure mass, the solid component of material that transmits stresses across the material

\(M_{\text{P}_{0}}\)

Initial total powder mass

n

Porosity

e

Void ratio

γdry

Dry unit weight

γsat

Saturated unit weight

ψ

Suction

ψ0

Suction during UC tests

p

Mean effective stress

q

Deviatoric stress

σr

Radial stress

σa

Axial stress

σt0wet

Initial peak tensile stress in saturated conditions

σtwet–damaged

Tensile peak stress in saturated conditions of the weathered calcarenite

σc0wet

Initial peak compressive stress in saturated conditions

σcwet–damaged

Unconfined peak compressive stress in saturated conditions of the weathered calcarenite

σc0–oedwet

Initial oedometric peak compressive stress in saturated conditions

σc–oedwet–damaged

Oedometric peak compressive stress in saturated conditions of the weathered calcarenite

Sr

Degree of saturation

Sr0

Degree of saturation during UC tests

Sr*

Minimum degree of saturation necessary to suspend all the powder mass in the structure

σc

Compressive stress

σt

Tensile stress

σcpeak

Peak compressive stress

σtpeak

Peak tensile stress

ξdis

Dissolution reaction progress variable

ξdis,cr

Value of the dissolution reaction progress variable when all diagenetic bonds are assumed to be dissolved

ξsus

STD progress variable

ua

Air pressure

uw

Water pressure

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank Professor Tomasz Hueckel and Professor Claudio Tamagnini for the many fruitful discussions concerning the experiments. M. O. Ciantia is particularly grateful to Professor Roberto Nova for his passion and enthusiasm devoted to scientific investigation.

References

  1. Andriani GF, Walsh N (2007) The effects of wetting and drying, and marine salt crystallization on calcarenite rocks used as building material in historic monuments. Geol Soc Lond Spec Publ 271:179–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arroyo M, Castellanza R, Nova R (2005) Compaction bands and oedometric testing in cemented soils. Soils Found 45(2):181–194Google Scholar
  3. Arroyo M, Ciantia MO, Castellanza R, Gens A, Nova R (2012) Simulation of cement-improved clay structures with a bonded elasto-plastic model: a practical approach. Comput Geotech 45:140–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bonelli S, Marot D (2008) On the modelling of internal soil erosion. In: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference of the International Association for Computer Methods and Advances in Geomechanics (IACMAG), Goa, India, October 2008Google Scholar
  5. Castellanza R, Nova R (2004) Oedometric tests on artificially weathered carbonatic soft rocks. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng ASCE 130(7):728–739CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Castellanza R, Gerolymatou E, Nova R (2009) Experimental observations and modelling of compaction bands in oedometric tests on high porosity rocks. Strain 45:410–423CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cha M, Santamarina JC (2013) Predissolution and postdissolution penetration resistance. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 139(12):2193–2200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ciantia MO (2013) Multiscale hydro-chemo-mechanical modelling of the weathering of calcareous rocks: an experimental, theoretical and numerical study. PhD thesis, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, ItalyGoogle Scholar
  9. Ciantia MO, Hueckel T (2013) Weathering of stressed submerged stressed calcarenites: chemo-mechanical coupling mechanisms. Géotechnique 63(9):768–785CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ciantia MO, Castellanza R, di Prisco C, Hueckel T (2012) Experimental methodology for chemo-mechanical weathering of calcarenites. In: Laloui L, Ferrari A (eds) Multiphysical testing of soils and shales. Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, pp 331–336Google Scholar
  11. Ciantia MO, Castellanza R, di Prisco C (2013) Chemo-mechanical weathering of calcarenites: experiments and theory. In: Manassero et al (eds) Coupled phenomena in environmental geotechnics. Taylor & Francis Group, London, pp 541–548CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ciantia MO, Castellanza R, Crosta GB, Hueckel T (2014) Mineral suspension and dissolution: their role in weakening of inundated soft carbonatic rocks. Eng GeolGoogle Scholar
  13. Coviello A, Lagioia R, Nova R (2005) On the measurement of the tensile strength of soft rocks. Rock Mech Rock Eng 38(4):251–273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. De Groot SR (1966) Termodynamics of irriversible processes. Amsterdam, North HollandGoogle Scholar
  15. di Prisco C, Matiotti R, Nova R (1992) A mathematical model of grouted sand behaviour. In: Pande G, Pietrusczczak S (eds) Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Numerical Models in Geomechanics (NUMOG IV), Swansea, UK, August 1992. Balkema, Rotterdam, pp 25–35Google Scholar
  16. Folk RL (1959) Practical petrographic classification of limestones. AAPG Bull 43(1):1–38Google Scholar
  17. Gens A, Nova R (1993) Conceptual bases for a constitutive model for bonded soils and weak rocks. In: Anagnostopoulos A et al (eds) Proceedings of the 1st International Symposium on Hard Soils–Soft Rocks, Athens, Greece, September 1993. Balkema, Rotterdam, pp 485–494Google Scholar
  18. Hilf JW (1956) An investigation of pore-water pressure in compacted cohesive soils. Technical Memo. 654. U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, Design and Construction Division, Denver, COGoogle Scholar
  19. Hueckel T (2002) Reactive plasticity for clays during dehydration and rehydration. Part 1: concepts and options. Int J Plast 18(3):281–312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. ISRM Commission on Testing Methods (1978) Suggested methods for determining tensile strength of rock materials. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci Geomech Abstr 15:101–103Google Scholar
  21. Kolymbas D, Bauer E (1993) Soft oedometer. A new testing device and its application for the calibration of hypoplastic constitutive laws. Geotech Test J 16(2):263–270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lagioia R, Nova R (1995) An experimental and theoretical study of the behaviour of a calcarenite in triaxial compression. Géotechnique 45(4):633–648CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Nova R (1992) Mathematical modelling of natural and engineered geomaterials. Eur J Mech A Solids 11:135–154Google Scholar
  24. Nova R (1997) On the modelling of the mechanical effects of diagenesis and weathering. ISRM News J 4(2):15–20Google Scholar
  25. Nova R (2000) Modelling the weathering effects on the mechanical behaviour of granite. In: Kolymbas D (ed) Constitutive modelling of granular materials. Springer, Berlin, pp 397–411CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Nova R, Castellanza R, Tamagnini C (2003) A constitutive model for bonded geomaterials subject to mechanical and/or chemical degradation. Int J Num Anal Meth Geomech 27(9):705–732CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Papamichos E, Brignoli M, Santarelli FJ (1997) An experimental and theoretical study of a partially saturated collapsible rock. Mech Cohes Frict Mater 2:251–278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Richards LA (1941) A pressure-membrane extraction apparatus for soil solution extraction. Soil Sci 51:377–386CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Risnes R, Madland MV, Hole M, Kwabiah NK (2005) Water weakening of chalk—mechanical effects of water–glycol mixtures. J Petrol Sci Eng 48(1):21–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sari H, Chareyre B, Catalano E, Philippe P, Vincens E (2011) Investigation of internal erosion processes using a coupled dem-fluid method. In: Oate E, Owen DRJ (eds) Proceedings of the II International Conference on Particle-based Methods—Particles 2011, Barcelona, Spain, October 2011Google Scholar
  31. Shin H, Santamarina JC (2009) Mineral dissolution and the evolution of k 0. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 135(8):1141–1147CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matteo Oryem Ciantia
    • 1
  • Riccardo Castellanza
    • 2
  • Claudio di Prisco
    • 3
  1. 1.Departamento de Ingeniería del TerrenoUniversidad Politècnica de Cataluna (UPC)BarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Università degli studi Milano BicoccaMilanItaly
  3. 3.Politecnico di MilanoMilanItaly

Personalised recommendations