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Difficulties posed by low plasticity soils including silty and sandy clays, silts, and sands are described. The soils considered are not cemented and generally display the dependence between consolidation state and strength necessary to apply such procedures as Stress History and Normalized Soil Engineering Properties (SHANSEP). Unfortunately, these soils are highly susceptible to sampling disturbance because of the unavoidable low effective stress that remains in specimens after sampling. Sampling disturbance obscures consolidation behavior, making it difficult to estimate the in situ overconsolidation ratio. Also, the low compressibility of these materials makes it difficult to clearly define the virgin compression curve. Improvements in interpretation procedures will come only after a sound mechanical description of sampling disturbance has been developed.
triaxial test, undrained shear strength, sample disturbance, stress history, pore pressure, critical state, silt
Research civil engineer, Geotechnical Laboratory, U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, Civil Engineer, Vicksburg, MS