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Consolidation Behavior of Structured Clayey Soils: A Case Study on Shiraz Fine Alluvial Strata


Owing to bond structure forming through depositional history and aging, natural sedimentary soils behave differently, in comparison to their reconstituted/destructured counterparts. Herein, consolidation behaviors of high-quality undisturbed and completely reconstituted samples of a fine alluvial clayey soil from Shiraz are studied. Experimental findings elucidate the impact of bond structure on virgin oedometric consolidation of undisturbed clayey samples, in so far as void ratio for such soils experiences insignificant change at vertical effective stresses lower than yield stress (about 105 kPa). Nevertheless, beyond the yield stress, structured specimens exhibit a rapid change in void ratio with vertical effective stress, in comparison to that of the completely reconstituted ones. Finally, with extensive bonding destructuration under elevated normal effective stress, disparity between normal consolidation curves of initially structured and fully reconstituted specimens becomes negligible. It is shown that evolution of void ratio with vertical effective stress for Shiraz structured fine soil can be reasonably simulated using constitutive equations reported in the literature.

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Activity (see Table 1)


Soil parameter (see Eq. 4)


Void ratio of structured soil


Void ratio of completely reconstituted soil on normal consolidation line


e* at \(\sigma _{v}^{'}\) = pref on normal consolidation line (see Eq. 2)


e* at \(\sigma _{v}^{'}\)= pref on the idealized unloading/reloading line (see Eq. 6)

Gs :

Specific gravity of solid phase (=ρsw)

pref :

Reference pressure (=101 kPa)

Sv :

Soil parameter (see Eq. 3)


Water content

wN :

Natural water content (see Table 1)

wopt :

Optimum water content (see Table 1)


Difference between void ratios of the structured and reconstituted soils

∆ei :

∆ei is ∆e at \(\sigma _{v}^{\prime}={{(\sigma _{v}^{\prime})}_{\text {yield}}}\) (see Eq. 4)


Slope of the unloading/reloading line in the e vs. ln \(\sigma _{v}^{'}\) plane for structured specimens


Slope of the unloading/reloading line in the e* vs. ln \(\sigma _{v}^{'}\) plane for reconstituted specimens


Slope of normal consolidation line in the e* vs. ln \(\sigma _{v}^{'}\) plane

ρd :

Soil dry density

ρs :

Average density of soil solid phase

ρw :

Density of water (= 1000 kg/m3)

\(\sigma _{v}^{'}\) :

Vertical effective stress

\({{(\sigma _{v}^{'})}_{\text {yield}}}\) :

Vertical effective stress at yield


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The constructive comments, both technical and editorial, by the anonymous reviewers are gratefully acknowledged. The assistance of Mr. Benyamin Farhadi in preparation of SEM photographs is appreciated. Also, the authors would like to express their gratitude to Mr. Hossein Yazdanpanah Faragheh and Mr. Mohammad Rahimpoor for their assistance in obtaining high quality soil samples.

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Correspondence to Ali Lashkari.

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Memarzadeh, I., Lashkari, A. & Shourijeh, P.T. Consolidation Behavior of Structured Clayey Soils: A Case Study on Shiraz Fine Alluvial Strata. Int J Civ Eng 16, 1435–1444 (2018).

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  • Structured soil
  • Reconstituted soil
  • Clay
  • Yield stress
  • Normal consolidation line
  • Unloading/reloading line