Volume 17, Issue 1 (March 1994)
An Approximate Method for Estimating the Consolidation Behavior of Soft Sensitive Clays
An approximate, semi-theoretical method to determine the complete consolidation curve of undisturbed sensitive soils from index properties and in situ undrained shear strength is presented. The consolidation curve for the soft sensitive soils consists of three distinct zones. In order of increasing stress, these zones are described as cemented, transitional, and uncemented zones. A relationship between undrained strength and preconsolidation stress of such soils is employed in the prediction of the stress level at which the cemented zone terminates. The slope of the stress path for the loading of sensitive soils during the transition phase of consolidation is less than the slope during the cemented phase. Further, assuming that the stress path in the transitional phase is a straight line at a constant angle to the p′ axis, a relationship between the end of the cemented and the end of the transitional zones of behavior can be derived. Since sensitive soils in the uncemented zone behave similarly to normally consolidated soils, the entire consolidation curve can be approximated.