Volume Change Behaviour of Fine Grained Soils

  • A. Sridharan
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Physics book series (SPPHY, volume 93)


Soils in arid and semi-arid zones undergoes volume changes due to wetting. Depending upon the type of clay minerals present, degree of saturation, externally applied load and bonding, the fine grained soils either swells or compresses. One of the parameter that affects the volume change behaviour is the primary clay mineral present in their clay size fraction. A simple method of identifying the same has been presented. It has been brought out that in an expansive unsaturated undisturbed soil, the diffuse double layer repulsion, the stress state and the bonding play significant role in their volume change behaviour. In nonexpansive fine grained unsaturated undisturbed soils, the shearing resistance at particle level (including the matrix suction and bonding) and fabric play a significant role in influencing the volume change behaviour. While both the mechanism co-exist, one of them play a dominant role depending upon the primary clay mineral is swelling or non swelling.


Clay Mineral Particle Level Fine Grained Fine Grained Soil Diffuse Double Layer 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bolt GH (1956) Physico-chemical analysis of the compressibility of pure clays. Geotechnique 6: 86 73Google Scholar
  2. Bolt GH, Miller RD (1955) Compression studies of illite suspensions. Proc. Soil Sci. Soc. Of Am. 19: 285 288Google Scholar
  3. Lambe TW (1958) The structure of compacted clay. Jl Soil Mech and Found divn ASCE 84: 1654Google Scholar
  4. Low PF (1980) The swelling of clay II montmorillonites. J Soil Sci Soc Am 44: 667 676Google Scholar
  5. Mesri G, Olson RE (1971) Consolidation characteristics of montmorillonite. Geotechnique 21: 341 352.Google Scholar
  6. Mitchell JK (1962) The application of colloidal theory to compressibility of clays. Proc of seminar on interparticle forces in clay-water-electrolyte system. Melbourne CS&I RO 2-92 2-97Google Scholar
  7. Mitchell JK (1976) Fundamentals of soil behaviour. John Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  8. Sridharan A (1991) Engineering behaviour of clays-A fundamental approach. Indian Geotech J 21: 1–136.Google Scholar
  9. Sridharan A, Allam MM (1982) Volume change behaviour of desiccated soils. J of the Geotech Div Proc ASCE 108: 1057 1071.Google Scholar
  10. Sridharan A, Choudhury D (2002) Swelling pressure of sodium montmorillonites. Geotechnique 52: 459 462.Google Scholar
  11. Sridharan A, Jayadeva MS (1982) Double layer theory and compressibility of clays. Geotechnique 32: 133 144.Google Scholar
  12. Sridharan A, Rao GV (1973) Mechanisms controlling volume change behaviour of saturated clays and the role of effective stress concept. Geotechnique 23: 359 382.Google Scholar
  13. Sridharan A, Rao GV (1975) Mechanisms controlling the liquid limit of clays. Proc. Istanbul Conf. on Soil Mech and Found Eng 1: 75–84Google Scholar
  14. Sridharan A, Rao SM (1988) A scientific basis for the use of index tests in identification of expansive soils. Geotech. testing J. 11: 208 212.Google Scholar
  15. Sridharan A, Rao GV, Pandian RS (1973) Volume change behaviour of partly saturated clays during soaking and the role of effective stress concept. Soils and Foundations 13: 1 15.Google Scholar
  16. Sridharan A, Rao AS, Sivapullaiah PV (1986a) Swelling pressure of clays. Geotechnical Testing J 9: 24 31.Google Scholar
  17. Sridharan A, Rao MS, Murthy NS (1986b) Liquid limit of montmorillonite soils. Geotechnical Testing J 9: 156 164.Google Scholar
  18. Sridharan A, Sudhakar M. Rao, Sathyanarayana Murthy (1986c) A rapid method to identify clay type in soils by the free swell technique. Geotechnical Testing J 9: 198 203.Google Scholar
  19. Sridharan A, Rao SM, Murthy NS (1988) Liquid limit of kaolinitic soils. Geotechnique 38: 191 198.Google Scholar
  20. Sridharan A, Sudhakar M Rao, Sanjeev Joshi (1990) Classification of expansive soils by sediment volume method. Geotechnical Testing J 13: 375 380Google Scholar
  21. van Olphen H (1963) An introduction to clay colloid chemistry for clay technologists, geologists and soil scientists. Interscience, New York.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Sridharan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringIndian Institute of ScienceBangaloreINDIA

Personalised recommendations