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The surface of the seafloor is covered by sediments consisting of or containing calcareous, siliceous, or argillaceous soils. These sediments are frequently exposed by tectonic uplift or sea level lowering and usually exhibit a degree of cementation. In coastal areas and in a consolidated form they can stand at steep angles and in bluffs as high as 150 m. Although apparently strong, they tend to lose most, if not all, of their strength at the time of failure resulting in sudden and complete collapse.
This paper presents selected test results obtained during laboratory investigation concerning the effects of cementation on the behavior of soils. Utilizing block sampling techniques, naturally occurring cemented soils were sampled from the bluffs along the Pacific coast south of San Francisco, CA. The sands are of quaternary and tertiary marine origin and are classified as weakly or moderately cemented. Static strain-controlled drained and undrained triaxial tests were performed on samples confined under different pressures. Thin sections and electron micrographs were prepared to assess agents of cementation.
beach sands, brittleness, brittleness index, cementation, cemented soils, classification system, confining pressure, initial tangent modulus, scanning electron microscope, thin section, triaxial tests, volumetric strain
Research fellow, Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, Sovsveien 72, Oslo
Professor and head, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA