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A study of the relationship between the pressuremeter modulus and the preconsolidation pressure around a thrust fault

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The study area is in a zone under the influence of the Lake Van water changes and the Van fault, which caused a destructive earthquake in 2011. Due to the level changes of Lake Van, sediments with different thicknesses as well as grain sizes were deposited in this region and the characteristics of these sediments were significantly affected by the morphology and lake water fluctuations in the past. A total of six boreholes were drilled along a 3-km line within the study area to determine the preconsolidation pressure (σpc) and the pressuremeter test values of the clayey levels of old lake deposits—which are known to have different physical and mechanical properties—with hopes to gain an insight on how they influence the mechanical tests performed in the field and in laboratory conditions. The relationship between these values was also statistically evaluated. When both datasets were evaluated together, it was determined that the stresses in the area close to the Van Thrust Fault plane caused deformations in the soil, which in turn affected the hanging-wall block of the thrust fault in particular. The inspection of EM and σpc values for the area within the primary compression zone of the Van Fault revealed that both values of the boreholes on the footwall block were higher compared to other boreholes close to the lake (southwest). This finding indicates that the fault stresses at the footwall block of the fault plane enhance the mechanical characteristics of the soil. The data obtained were also evaluated using regression analysis. Relationships between all available data were investigated and a high coefficient of determination was derived between the Menard deformation modulus (EM) and the preconsolidation (σpc) pressure.

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(modified from Landmann et al. 1996a, b)

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(modified from Cassagrande 1948; Howard 1977)

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The Scientific Research Projects Office of Van Yüzüncü Yıl University (YYU-BAP, Project Number 2017-FBA-6347) financially supported this study.

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Correspondence to Ali Özvan.

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Özvan, A., Özvan, E.E., Akkaya, İ. et al. A study of the relationship between the pressuremeter modulus and the preconsolidation pressure around a thrust fault. Environ Earth Sci 78, 596 (2019).

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