SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1973

Field and Laboratory Determination of Maximum Density in Coarse Sands and Gravels for Mica Dam


Checks on the placement of cohesionless embankment shell materials for the 800-ft high Mica Dam by field and laboratory density tests were required to ensure that the properties of the placed earth fill were compatible with design assumptions. As a result of studies made in the design of a quality control system for the dam, it is believed that the data obtained from large field specimens can be considered representative of the fill material, but only if the comparative laboratory data are also obtained on large specimens. In addition, it appears that the representative test results can be obtained only by sampling the total (or near total) material and testing without a major reduction in the maximum particle size. The resulting specimen sizes necessitated some modifications in the conventional test methods and development of large apparatus to accommodate a wide range of materials. The equipment and procedures adopted or developed for density testing on coarse sands and gravels in the field and in the laboratory at Mica Dam are described. Methods for predicting the laboratory densities and the relative compaction, based on three years of extensive testing, are presented.

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Low, WI
Mica Dam, CASECO Consultants, Mica Creek, B. C., Canada
Sener, C
Mica Dam, CASECO Consultants, Mica Creek, B. C., Canada
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Developed by Committee: D18
Pages: 425–443
DOI: 10.1520/STP37886S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5534-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-0081-7