Investigation of Local Processes and Spatial Scale Effects on Suffusion Susceptibility
Many failures of earth structures are caused by the internal erosion occurring in these structures and their foundations. Suffusion, one of four internal erosion types, is a selective erosion of fine particles which move through the matrix formed by the coarser particles. In literature, most investigations on suffusion took it as a single erosion process. However, the suffusion is a complex process due to the combination of three processes: detachment, transport and possible filtration of finer fraction. The influence of the local processes on suffusion susceptibility, especially the filtration process, is not well established. The objectives of this study are investigating the filtration process by verifying results of filtration tests with the basic filtration equation and analyzing the influence of spatial scale effects on the filtration process by performing tests with two different-sized devices. The filtration tests results show the consistency with the basic filtration equation on suspended particle concentration. And suffusion tests indicate the significant effect of specimen size on filtration process. The interpretative method based on the energy expended by the seepage flow and the cumulative loss dry mass is more appropriate with filtration process than those based on the geometric shape of the particles.
KeywordsFiltration process Suffusion Spatial scale effect
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