Advertisement

Journal of Soils and Sediments

, Volume 19, Issue 10, pp 3463–3475 | Cite as

Experimental study of the shear strength of soil from the Heifangtai Platform of the Loess Plateau of China

  • Tianfeng Gu
  • Jiading WangEmail author
  • Chenxing Wang
  • Yinqiang Bi
  • Qianyi Guo
  • Yaming Liu
Soils, Sec 2 • Global Change, Environ Risk Assess, Sustainable Land Use • Research Article
  • 199 Downloads

Abstract

Purpose

Loess landslides induced by irrigation are common geological disasters in the Loess Plateau, China. Long-term watering decreases the matric suction and soil strength of loess, thus causing the frequent occurrence of landslides. Therefore, studying the strength characteristics of unsaturated loess is of great significance for knowing how such landslides occur and, a step further, preventing them.

Materials and methods

Undisturbed loess samples in Heifangtai Platform were collected to measure their soil water characteristic curves (SWCC) and a series of direct shear tests and triaxial shear tests were carried out with unsaturated loess. Moreover, the strength characteristics of the loess were discussed.

Results and discussion

The results showed that in the direct shear test, the cohesion (c) increased linearly with increasing matric suction whereas the suction internal friction angle (φb) was approximately constant. In the triaxial shear test, c increased nonlinearly with increasing matric suction. The value of φb was a constant when matric suction was 0–100 kPa, but decreased as matric suction increased within the range of 100–200 kPa. The effective stress parameter (χ) lay in the range from 0.5 to 0.8. When the matric suction was small, the shear strength calculated by Lu’s suction theory was almost the same as that obtained by Fredlund’s theory. With the increase of matric suction, the shear strength calculated by Fredlund’s theory gradually outperformed that of Lu’s suction theory. The shear strength calculated by the curve of moisture desorption was slightly larger than that of moisture absorption.

Conclusions

The variation trends of strength parameters with matric suction under the two tests were similar. The effective internal friction angles obtained by the triaxial shear test are slightly larger than those by the direct shear test. The suction internal friction angle (φb) was approximately a constant and smaller than φ´. The φb obtained by the direct shear test was slightly larger than that obtained by the triaxial test. Lu’s theory can be used to evaluate the stability of unsaturated soils on some loess slopes with high soil moisture content.

Keywords

Heifangtai Platform Loess landslide Shear strength Suction stress Unsaturated soil 

Notes

Funding information

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China [grant numbers 41530640, 41630639, and 41772285], National Key Research and Development Plan (2018YFC1504703), and State Key Laboratory of Continental Dynamics.

References

  1. Arrúa P, Aiassa G, Eberhardt M, Biga CA (2011) Behavior of collapsible loessic soil after interparticle cementation. Int J Geomater 1(2):130–135Google Scholar
  2. Bishop AW, Blight GE (1963) Some aspects of effective stress in saturated and partly saturated soils. Géotechnique 13(3):177–197Google Scholar
  3. Bocking KA, Fredlund DG (1980) Limitations of the axis translation technique. IV Int Conf on Expansive Soils, Denver 1:117–135Google Scholar
  4. Cui K, Huang BW (2013) Experimental study on shear strength of west Sichuan unsaturated mixed-soil. Appl Mech Mater 353-356:772–778Google Scholar
  5. Feng L, Zhang MS, Sun PP, Dong Y, Ge RH (2016) A study of the hydro-mechanical properties of unsaturated loess under the drying and wetting path. Hydrogeol Eng Geol 43(2):134–139 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  6. Fredlund DG, Rahardjo H (1993) Soil mechanics for unsaturated soils. WileyGoogle Scholar
  7. Fredlund DG, Morgenstern NR, Widger RA (1978) The shear strength of unsaturated soils. Rev Can Geotech 15(3):313–321Google Scholar
  8. Fredlund DG, Xing A, Fredlund MD, Barbour SL (1996) The relationship of the unsaturated soil shear to the soil-water character. Can Geotech J 33(3):440–448Google Scholar
  9. Gallage C, Uchimura T (2016) Direct shear testing on unsaturated silty soils to investigate the effects of drying and wetting on shear strength parameters at low suction. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 142(3):04015081Google Scholar
  10. Gan JKM, Fredlund DG, Rahardjo H (1988) Determination of the shear strength parameters of an unsaturated soil. Can Geotech J 25(3):500–510Google Scholar
  11. Genuchten MTV (1980) A closed-form equation for predicting the hydraulic conductivity of unsaturated soils. Soil Sci Soc Am J 44(44):892–898Google Scholar
  12. Gu TF, Zhu LF, Hu W, Wang JD, Liu YM, Feng L (2015) Effect on slope stability due to groundwater rising caused by irrigation: a case study of Heifang Platform in Gansu, China. Geoscience 29(2):408–413 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  13. Gu TF, Zhang MS, Wang JD, Wang CX, Xu YJ, Wang X (2019) The effect of irrigation on slope stability in the Heifangtai Platform, Gansu Province, China. Eng Geol 248:346–356Google Scholar
  14. Havaee S, Mosaddeghi MR, Ayoubi S (2015) In situ surface shear strength as affected by soil characteristics and land use in calcareous soils of central Iran. Geoderma 237-238:137–148Google Scholar
  15. Hou X, Vanapalli SK, Li T (2018) Water infiltration characteristics in loess associated with irrigation activities and its influence on the slope stability in Heifangtai loess highland, China. Eng Geol 234:27–37Google Scholar
  16. Hu SX, Zhou YD, Chen ZH (2005) Experimental study on strength characteristics of unsaturated intact loess. Rock Soil Mech 26(4):660–663 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  17. Huang MB, Fredlund DG, Fredlund MD (2010) Comparison of measured and PTF predictions of SWCCs for loess soils in China. Geotech Geol Eng 28(2):105–117Google Scholar
  18. Jiang M, Zhang F, Hu H, Cui Y, Peng J (2014a) Structural characterization of natural loess and remolded loess under triaxial tests. Eng Geol 181:249–260Google Scholar
  19. Jiang MJ, Li T, Hu HJ, Thornton C (2014b) Dem analyses of one-dimensional compression and collapse behaviour of unsaturated structural loess. Comput Geotech 60(1):47–60Google Scholar
  20. Jiang Y, Chen W, Wang G, Sun G, Zhang F (2016) Influence of initial dry density and water content on the soil–water characteristic curve and suction stress of a reconstituted loess soil. Bull Eng Geol Environ 76(3):1–11Google Scholar
  21. Kayadelen C, Tekinsoy MA, Taşkıran T (2007) Influence of matric suction on shear strength behavior of a residual clayey soil. Environ Geol 53(4):891–901Google Scholar
  22. Kim BS, Shibuya S, Park SW, Kato S (2013) Suction stress and its application on unsaturated direct shear test under constant volume condition. Eng Geol 155(6):10–18Google Scholar
  23. Laloui L, Nuth M, François B (2010) Mechanics of unsaturated soils. Mech Unsaturated Geomater, pp 29–54Google Scholar
  24. Li P, Zhang X, Shi H (2015) Investigation for the initiation of a loess landslide based on the unsaturated permeability and strength theory. Geoenviron Disasters 2(1):1–11Google Scholar
  25. Liang Q, Li J, Wu X, Zhou A (2016) Anisotropy of Q2, loess in the Baijiapo tunnel on the Lanyu railway, China. Bull Eng Geol Environ 75(1):109–124Google Scholar
  26. Lin HZ, Li GX, Yu YZ, Lv H (2007) Influence of matric suction on shear strength behavior of unsaturated soils. Rock Soil Mech 28(9):1931–1936 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  27. Liu CR (2014) The experimental study of the influence of the matric suction on the unsaturated soil strength. Appl Mech Mater 580–583:514–517Google Scholar
  28. Liu C, He P, Huang Q (2011) Influence of matrix suction on engineering properties of unsaturated soil. In: Second International Conference on Mechanic Automation and Control Engineering. IEEE, pp 2250–2253Google Scholar
  29. Lu N, Godt JW (2013) Hillslope hydrology and stability. Cambridge Univ. PressGoogle Scholar
  30. Lu N, Likos WJ (2004) Unsaturated soil mechanics. WileyGoogle Scholar
  31. Lu N, Likos WJ (2006) Suction stress characteristic curve for unsaturated soil. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 132(2):131–142Google Scholar
  32. Lu N, Godt JW, Wu DT (2010) A closed-form equation for effective stress in unsaturated soil. Water Resour Res 46(5):567–573Google Scholar
  33. Milligan GWE, Houlsby GT (1984) Basic soil mechanics. Butterworth-HeinemannGoogle Scholar
  34. Nam S, Gutierrez M, Diplas P, Petrie J (2011) Determination of the shear strength of unsaturated soils using the multistage direct shear test. Eng Geol 122(3):272–280Google Scholar
  35. Ng CWW, Sadeghi H, Jafarzadeh F (2016) Compression and shear strength characteristics of compacted loess at high suctions. Can Geotech J 131:1–10Google Scholar
  36. Oster JD (1994) Irrigation with poor quality water. Agric Water Manag 25(3):271–297Google Scholar
  37. Patil UD, Puppala AJ, Hoyos LR, Pedarla A (2017) Modelling critical-state shear strength behavior of compacted silty sand via suction-controlled triaxial testing. Eng Geol 231:21–33Google Scholar
  38. Pujiastuti H, Rifa'I A, Adi AD, Fathani TF (2018) The effect of matric suction on the shear strength of unsaturated sandy clay. Int J Geomater 14(42):112–119Google Scholar
  39. Qadir M, Oster JD (2004) Crop and irrigation management strategies for saline-sodic soils and waters aimed at environmentally sustainable agriculture. Sci Total Environ 323(1–3):1–19Google Scholar
  40. Rasool AM, Kuwano J (2018) Role of matric suction on shear strength of unsaturated compacted soil at low confining stress. Geoshanghai International Conference. Springer.  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-0095-0_14
  41. Schanz T (2007) Experimental unsaturated soil mechanics. Springer, Berlin HeidelbergGoogle Scholar
  42. Schnellmann R, Rahardjo H, Schneider HR (2013) Unsaturated shear strength of a silty sand. Eng Geol 162(4):88–96Google Scholar
  43. Song YS, Hwang WK, Jung SJ, Kim TH (2012) A comparative study of suction stress between sand and silt under unsaturated conditions. Eng Geol 124(1):90–97Google Scholar
  44. Song YJ, Hu XL, Guo LN, Zhang GC (2013) Effect of suction path on mechanical behaviors of unsaturated soils. IAHS Eng Geol 40(5):64–68 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  45. Standard for soil test method, GB/T 50123-1999 (1999) The ministry of water resources of the People’s Republic of ChinaGoogle Scholar
  46. Vanapalli SK, Fredlund DG (2000) Comparison of different procedures to predict unsaturated soil shear strength. Geotech SP 287(99):195–209Google Scholar
  47. Wang L, Liu CR (2012) Analysis of the influences of matric suction of unsaturated soil on the slope stability. Appl Mech Mater 170–173:3186–3189Google Scholar
  48. Wang G, Zhang D, Furuya G, Yang J (2014) Pore-pressure generation and fluidization in a loess landslide triggered by the 1920 Haiyuan earthquake, China: a case study. Eng Geol 174(1):36–45Google Scholar
  49. Wang JP, Hu N, Francois B, Lambert P (2017) Estimating water retention curves and strength properties of unsaturated sandy soils from basic soil gradation parameters. Water Resour Res 53(7):6069–6088Google Scholar
  50. Wang JD, Li P, Ma Y, Li TL (2018a) Influence of irrigation method on the infiltration in loess: field study in the Loess Plateau. Desalin Water Treat 110:298–307Google Scholar
  51. Wang JD, Xu YJ, Ma Y, Qiao SN, Feng KQ (2018b) Study on the deformation and failure modes of filling slope in loess filling engineering: a case study at a loess mountain airport. Landslides 15(12):2423–2435Google Scholar
  52. Wayllace A, Lu N (2012) A transient water release and imbibition method for rapidly measuring wetting and drying soil water retention and hydraulic conductivity functions. Geotech Test J 137(1):16–28Google Scholar
  53. Wen BP, Yan YJ (2014) Influence of structure on shear characteristics of the unsaturated loess in Lanzhou, China. Eng Geol 168(1):46–58Google Scholar
  54. Xing XL, Li TL, Li P, Fu YK, Xi Y (2014) Variation regularities of loess shear strength with the moisture content. IAHS Eng Geol 41(3):53–59 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  55. Xing XL, Li TL, Fu YK (2016) Determination of the related strength parameters of unsaturated loess with conventional triaxial test. Environ Earth Sci 75(1):82Google Scholar
  56. Xu L, Qiao X, Wu C, Iqbal J, Dai F (2012) Causes of landslide recurrence in a loess platform with respect to hydrological processes. Nat Hazards 64(2):1657–1670Google Scholar
  57. Xu L, Dai F, Tu X, Tham LG, Zhou Y, Iqbal J (2014) Landslides in a loess platform, North-West China. Landslides 11(6):993–1005Google Scholar
  58. Ying J, Liao H, Yin J (2006) An experimental study on the shear strength of undisturbed loess. Geotech SP 192:127–135Google Scholar
  59. Zhang MS, Li TL (2011) Triggering factors and forming mechanism of loess landsides. J Eng Geol 19(4):530–540 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  60. Zhang DX, Wang GH, Luo CY, Chen J, Zhou YX (2009) A rapid loess flowslide triggered by irrigation in China. Landslides 6(1):55–60Google Scholar
  61. Zhang CL, Wang XS, Zou XY, Tian JL, Liu B, Li JF, Kang LQ, Chen H, Wu YQ (2018) Estimation of surface shear strength of undisturbed soils in the eastern part of northern China’s wind erosion area. Soil Tillage Res 178:1–10Google Scholar
  62. Zhou WH, Xu X, Garg A (2016) Measurement of unsaturated shear strength parameters of silty sand and its correlation with unconfined compressive strength. Measurement 93:351–358Google Scholar
  63. Zhu LF, Gu TF, Hu W, Liu YM, Feng L, Bi YQ (2016) Developmental mechanism of irrigation-induced loess landslides. J Eng Geol 24(4):485–491 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  64. Zhuang JQ, Peng JB (2014) A coupled slope cutting—a prolonged rainfall-induced loess landslide: a 17 October 2011 case study. Bull Eng Geol Environ 73(4):997–1011Google Scholar
  65. Zuo CQ, Liu DG, Ding SL, Chen JP (2016) Micro-characteristics of strength reduction of tuff residual soil with different moisture. KSCE J Civ Eng 20(2):639–646Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tianfeng Gu
    • 1
  • Jiading Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Chenxing Wang
    • 1
  • Yinqiang Bi
    • 1
  • Qianyi Guo
    • 1
  • Yaming Liu
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Continental Dynamics, Department of GeologyNorthwest UniversityXi’anChina

Personalised recommendations