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The geotechnical properties of two deep-sea calcareous oozes are discussed. The first ooze, a clayey silt with 56 to 75 percent calcium carbonate, was subjected to laboratory vane shear, one-dimensional compression, and triaxial shear testing. The void ratio-log pressure relationship obtained from one-dimensional compression tests, for a pressure increment ratio of 1, was found to be continuously plunging, a curve form possibly characteristic of the calcareous oozes. The failure envelope determined from triaxial shear tests defined a decreasing effective friction angle with increasing confining stress (34 deg, decreasing to 28 deg). Efforts toward establishing a connection between these phenomena and grain crushing in the sediment at engineering loads were not conclusive.
The second ooze, a fine sand-silt with 77 to 86 percent calcium carbonate, was tested both in-place (vane shear) and in the laboratory (vane shear and triaxial). In-place vane strengths are quite high, 10 to 30 kPa (1.5 to 4.5 psi), while laboratory vane strengths are near zero. The ooze exhibits high in-place vane strength sensitivities (5 to 10).
deep-sea sediments, calcareous sediments, calcareous oozes, geotechnical properties
Senior staff engineer, Brian Watt Associates, Houston, Tex.
Professor, School of Civil Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.
Research civil engineer, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, Calif.