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Applied Analyses in Geotechnics - Fethi Azizi
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Ahuja , Thomas L. Magnanti , James B. Steven C. The specific gravity of the mantle increases from about 3 at the Mohorovicic discontinuity approximately 40km deep to about 5 at the Gutenburg discontinuity approximately km deep. As the core does not transmit the transverse or S-waves which arise from earthquakes, at least part of it must be in liquid form. There is some evidence that the outer core may be liquid, while the inner core with a radius of km or so is solid.
The specific gravity of the core material varies from 5 to 13 or more. According to the theory of plate tectonics, the crust is divided into a number of large slabs or plates, which float on the mantle and move relative to each other as a result of convection currents within the mantle.
Although individual plates are fairly stable, relative movements at the plate boundaries are responsible for many geological processes. Sideways movements create tear faults and are responsible for earthquakes: an example of this is the San Andreas fault in California. Where the plates tend to move away from each other or diverge, new oceanic crust is formed by the emergence of molten material from the mantle through volcanoes. Where the plates tend to collide or converge, the oceanic plate sima is forced down into the mantle where it tends to melt.
The continental plate sial rides over the oceanic plate, and is crumpled and thickened to form a mountain chain e.
The geological process of mountain building is known as orogenesis. It is worth mentioning here that civil and geotechnical Soil mechanics 6 engineers are not usually interested in the properties of the top metre or so of soil—known as topsoil—in which plants grow, but in the underlying layers or strata of rather older geological deposits.
The topsoil is not generally suitable for use as an engineering material, as it is too variable in character, too near the surface, too loose and compressible, has too high an organic content and is too susceptible to the effects of plants and animals and to seasonal changes in groundwater level. Soil consists primarily of solid particles, which may range in size from less than a micron to several millimetres.
Because many aspects of the engineering behaviour of Figure 1.
The system of soil classification according to particle size used in the UK is shown in Figure 1. There are other systems in use around the world—particularly in the USA—which differ slightly in detail, but the principle is the same e.
Winterkorn and Fang, Most soils result from the breakdown of the rocks which form the crust of the Earth, by means of the natural processes of weathering due to the action of the sun, rain, water, snow, ice and frost, and to chemical and biological activity.
The rock may be simply broken down into particles. It may also undergo chemical changes which alter its chemical composition or mineralogy. If the soil retains the characteristics of the parent rock and remains at its place of origin, it is known as a residual soil. More usually, the weathered particles will be transported by the wind, a river or a glacier to be deposited at some new location. During the transport process, the particles will probably be worn and broken down further, and sorted by size to some extent.
Many soil deposits may be up to 65 million years old. Geotechnical engineers frequently encounter sedimentary rocks, such as chalk, limestone and sandstone, which may be hundreds of millions of years old.
The Earth itself is thought to be 4— million years old, and anything which occurred after the end of the last glacial period of the Ice Age 10 years ago is described by geologists as Recent. Soils and rocks are classified by geologists according to their age, with reference to a geological timescale divided into four eras. The eras are named according to the life-forms which existed at the time. This period covers perhaps million years, from the creation of the Earth up to about million years before the present.
The four eras are subdivided into periods on the basis of the animal and plant fossils present. The periods are in turn subdivided into rock series. During a given period of time within an era, a series of rocks e. The periods are named in different ways, which may describe the types of rock laid down cretaceous for chalk, carboniferous for coal ; the nature of the fossil content e.
Devonian for Devon, Cambrian for Wales ; tribal names Silurian from the Silures and Ordovician from the Ordovices, both ancient Celtic tribes in Wales ; or the number of series within the period e. Triassic for three. The names of the eras and periods, together with an indication of the major geological activities, rocks and forms of life, are given in Table 1.
In view of the age of most soil deposits, the environment in which a particular soil deposit was laid down is unlikely to be the same as the environment at the same place today. Nonetheless, the transport process and the depositional environment of a particular stratum or layer of soil have a significant influence on its structure and fabric, and probably on its engineering behaviour. They are therefore worthy of some comment. They therefore tend to remain in suspension, enabling them to be transported much further by rivers than larger particles.
The largest particles are carried—if at all—by being washed along the bed of a river, rather than in suspension. Pebbles, gravels and coarse sands tend to be deposited on the bed of the river along most of its course. As the river changes its course due to the downstream migration of meanders bends , or erodes a deeper channel in a process known as rejuvenation following, e.
Silts and fine particles may also be deposited on either side of the river following a flood, because the floodwater is comparatively still. A soil deposited along the flood plain of a river is known as alluvium, or an alluvial deposit. A river tends to flow more rapidly in its upper reaches than in its lower course.
For example, the site has a gradient of about 1 in in its lowest reaches, compared with gradients as high as 1 in in many of the upper streams Robinson, This means that particles which were carried in suspension in the upper reaches of a river begin to be deposited downstream as the flow velocity falls.
At the mouth of the river, sediment Table 1.
Sediment is also carried into the sea and deposited: if it is not removed by the tide, a build-up of sediment known as a delta is formed, gradually extending seaward from the coast. The structure of a typical deltaic deposit is illustrated in Figure 1. The bottomset beds are made up of the finer particles, which have been carried furthest in suspension beyond the delta slope before settling out.
The foreset beds are made up of coarser material, which has carried along the river bed before coming to rest on the advancing face of the delta. The topset beds are deposited on top of the foreset beds, in much the same way as the alluvial deposits further upstream. Deltaic deposits generally comprise clays and silts, with some sands and organic matter.
Figure 1. Although it is likely that the original weathering processes took place when the climate was more humid than it is now, the primary transport process for soils in desert regions is the wind. Sand dunes gradually migrate in the direction of the wind. Fine particles may be carried for hundreds of kilometres as wind-borne dust. Dust may eventually arrive at a more humid area where it is washed out of the atmosphere by rain.
It then settles and accumulates as a non-stratified, lightly cemented material known as loess. The cementing is due to the presence of calcium carbonate deposits, from decayed vegetable matter. If the soil becomes saturated with water, the light cementitious bonds are destroyed, and the structure of loess collapses. Extensive deposits of loess are found in north-western China. A soil which has been laid down by the wind is known as an aeolian deposit. Ice Ice sheets and valley glaciers are particularly efficient at both eroding rock and transporting the resulting debris.
Material may be carried along on top of, within, and underneath an ice sheet or glacier as it advances. The effectiveness of ice as a mechanism of transportation does not unlike water and wind depend on particle size. It follows that deposits which 10 Soil mechanics have been laid down directly by ice action known as moraines are generally not sorted, and so encompass a large range of particle size. A mound deposited at the end of a glacier is termed a terminal moraine, while the sheet deposit below the glacier is known as a ground moraine Figure 1.
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Unsorted glacial moraine is known as glacial till or boulder clay. The particles found in glacial tills are generally fairly angular, in contrast to the more rounded particles associated with typical water-borne deposits.
Ice and water Material from on top of or within a melting glacier or ice sheet might be carried away by the meltwater before finally coming to rest. This would result in a degree of sorting according to particle size, with the finer materials being carried further from the end of the glacier.
Soils which have been transported, sorted and deposited in this way are described as fluvio-glacial materials. The outwash from an ice sheet can cover a considerable area, forming an extensive out-wash plain of fluvio-glacial material Figure 1. In some cases, the till may be carried by the meltwater into a lake formed by water trapped near the end of the retreating glacier or ice sheet.
The larger particles then settle relatively quickly, forming a well-defined layer on the bottom of the lake.
The smaller particles settle more slowly, but eventually form an overlying layer of finer material. With the next influx of meltwater, the process is repeated. Eventually, a soil deposit builds up which consists of alternating layers of fine and coarse material, each perhaps only a few millimetres thick Figure 3.
This layered or varved structure can have a significant effect on the engineering behaviour of the soil, as discussed in section 3. Material transported by ice, and deposited either directly or sorted and re-laid by outwash streams, is known as drift.
The principal depositional mechanisms associated with glaciers and ice sheets are summarized in Figure 1. In this section we have discussed the breakdown of rocks into soils. We should note in passing that this is only one-half of the geological cycle. As soils become buried by the deposition of further material on top, they can be converted back into rocks sedimentary or metamorphic by the application of increased pressure, and perhaps chemical changes. They might also be converted into igneous rocks, by means of tectonic activity.
However, Origins and classification of soils 11 this book is concerned with soils rather than rocks, and a discussion of the formation of rocks is beyond its scope. These elements are primarily oxygen approximately Many of the other elements such as gold, silver, tin and copper are rare in a global sense, but are found in concentrated deposits from which they can be extracted economically.
Most soils are silicates, which are minerals comprising predominantly silicon and oxygen. Although there are many silicate minerals, their properties such as hardness and stability depend primarily on their structure.Alternatively, they may be joined at the corners to form pairs amermanite: each silica tetrahedron shares one oxygen ion , single chains pyroxenes: each tetrahedron shares two oxygen ions , double chains or bands amphiboles: two or three oxygen ions shared, depending on the position of the tetrahedron in the band or rings e.
Essentially, the clay minerals can be considered to be made up of basic units or layers comprising two or three alternating sheets of silica, and either brucite [Mg3 OH 6] or gibbsite [Al2 OH 6]. These elements are primarily oxygen approximately The crust and the core may each be subdivided into inner and outer layers.
They therefore tend to remain in suspension, enabling them to be transported much further by rivers than larger particles. In this section we have discussed the breakdown of rocks into soils.