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The pinhole test was used to determine the boundaries between dispersive and nondispersive behavior for a clay shale with respect to acidity and salt concentration in the erosion solution. It was found that, for this soil, a decrease in pH of the eroding water to less than about 4 (using hydrochloric acid) or an increase to greater than about 11 (using calcium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide) caused a change from dispersive to nondispersive behavior. Similarly, increasing the salt concentration of the eroding water at its natural pH of 6.3 to 0.1 N calcium chloride or 0.5 N sodium chloride caused erosion to stop.
clays, acidity, alkali metals, calcium compounds, chemical properties, shales, compaction, concentration, dispersions, gradients, ions, laboratory equipment, leaching, pH, pinhole tests, piping, salinity, soil erosion, water analysis
Geological engineer, Woodward-Clyde Consultants, Clifton, N.J.
Professor of civil engineering, University of California, Berkeley, Calif