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Disintegration characteristics of a cryolithogenic clay loam with different water content: Moscow covering loam (prQIII), case study

Ze, Zhang, Vadim, Pendin, Svetlana, Nikolaeva, Zhongqiong, Zhang, Junjie, Wu
Engineering geology 2019 v.258 pp. 105159
case studies, clay loam soils, disasters, durability, engineering, water content, water table, Russia
Soil disintegration is one of the most important engineering geological properties. It refers to the durability of soil when in contact with Still water. When precipitation and groundwater level change, the soil becomes saturated and disintegration occurs. Soil disintegration leads to various engineering and natural disasters. The primary goal of this research is to start with the morphological characteristic of soil disintegration to analyze the time and rate of soil disintegration in different water content and comprehensively probe into the process and mechanism of disintegration. Cryolithogenic clay loam [covering loam (prQIII)] collected from Moscow Region, Russian Federation is used as the research object, and the disintegration test is conducted using a disintegration tester designed by Znamenskii–Khaustov. Results indicate that water content significantly affects the disintegration of covering loam. The lower the water content of the soil sample, the faster it will disintegrate. The “critical water content” is introduced, and it can be used to predict the durability of soil in water. For covering loam, the “critical water content” is found to be approximately 7%. The disintegration rate indirectly reflects the morphological characteristics of disintegration as follows. 1) For covering loam with relatively high water content, the changes in disintegration rate are relatively smooth and disintegration morphology is lumpy. 2) For covering loam with low water content, the changes in disintegration rate are fluctuant and disintegration morphology displays a lamellar surface.