Published Online: 20 March 2013
Page Count: 12
O'Kelly, Brendan C.
Associate Professor, Dept. of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, Museum Building, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2,
Postgraduate Student, Dept. of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2,
(Received 16 April 2012; accepted 19 February 2013)
Recent peat soil problems, including failures of dykes, foundations, and slopes in peat deposits, have focused greater attention on understanding the mechanical behavior of peat. Stability calculations routinely involve effective stress analysis, with pertinent strength and stiffness parameters often determined from standard triaxial testing, without special consideration given to internal tensile reinforcement provided by the fiber content and the high compressibility of the peat material. This paper investigates consolidated-drained triaxial compression testing applied to peat soils. Significant differences in mini-structure and fiber content among test specimens of undisturbed, reconstituted, and blended peat materials were found not to cause significant differences in shear resistance under drained triaxial compression, with mobilized shear resistance increasing approximately linearly with increasing axial strain. Hence it was concluded that c′ and φ′ deduced from drained triaxial compression testing of peat are unlikely to be intrinsic material properties, and rather are largely a function of strain level, with higher values of φ′ deduced for higher strain levels. The end of primary consolidation should be deduced from pore-water pressure measurements rather than the volume change response, although the repeatability of the triaxial consolidation tests was generally found to be poor on account of the natural variability of peat and the small size of the test specimens.
Paper ID: GTJ20120053