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A large portion of the Mediterranean coastal plain of Israel is overlain by thick deposits of calcareous sands, sometimes cemented to varying degrees and forming a cemented sand known locally as kurkar. The paper presents a review of the geotechnical properties of these deposits, and methods used to evaluate them. Parameters so obtained have been used for the design and analysis of building foundations, cliff slope stability analyses, and liquefaction studies. It is found that in many cases considerable breakdown of calcareous cementing bonds occurs under conditions of high stress, with the result that the soil behaves as an essentially cohesionless material, sometimes having an extremely high compressibility.
soils, sands, soil mechanics, compressibility, strength, liquefaction, cementation
Associate professor, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Technion—Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa,