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The brittle behavior aspects manifested during laboratory consolidation tests of a varved clay deposited in a glacial lake and thereafter having acquired natural cementation are presented. The effect of the quality of the test specimens on the shape of the compression curves from one-dimensional consolidation tests employing both incremental and constant rate of strain loading are presented. For good quality test specimens, the compression curves are arithmetically linear up to critical stress values at which breakage of the cement commences. A method is presented for estimating the maximum previous vertical effective stress remembered by the soil fabric of the intact natural state soil when one-dimensional test curves display brittle behavior. When the cement bonds of the natural-state soil are intact, the soil fabric can be underconsolidated or overconsolidated with respect to the existing vertical effective stress. The brittle behavior of the intact natural-state soil is attributed to the behavior of the cement bonds.
varved clay, soil structure, consolidation behavior
Retained ConsultantAssociate Professor, Goldberg-Zoino & Associates, Inc.University of Massachusetts, Newton Upper FallsAmherst, MAMA