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    A Study of Alabama Black-Belt Soils

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    The adverse physical and engineering behavior of the montmorillonitic soil of calcareous origin of the Alabama “Black-Belt” or “Black Prairie” region has been recognized for over 100 years. However, limited basic data have been developed that characterize these soils and define their behavior when treated with high-calcium lime. The purpose of this study was to determine basic variation of soil characteristics and the influence of sampling location on lime reactivity. Lime reactivity as defined by Thompson is the increase in unconfined compressive strength by comparison of untreated and lime-treated (6 percent lime content calculated by dry weight of soil solids) soil specimens having been cured for 48 h at 49°C (120°F) in a sealed condition. Harvard miniature compaction was utilized.

    Basic physicochemical and clay mineralogy data are presented to demonstrate the variation inherent in the 11 soil series. Compaction statistics associated with Harvard miniature compaction are presented.

    Eleven soil series (Boswell, Demopolis, Eutaw, Houston, Kipling, Leeper, Oktibbeha, Sumter, Susquehanna, Vaiden, and Wilcox) were sampled at three different locations to determine the effect of sampling location on laboratory lime reactivity. Sampling location significantly affected Eutaw, Kipling, Oktibbeha, Susquehanna, Vaiden, and Wilcox at an alpha level of 5 percent.


    lime stabilization, physiochemical properties, lime reactivity, calcareous soils

    Author Information:

    Rosser, GK
    Geotechnical engineer, Southern Company Services, Birmingham, Ala.

    Moore, RK
    Gottlieb Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, Auburn University, Auburn, Ala.

    Committee/Subcommittee: D18.15

    DOI: 10.1520/STP28917S