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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3G15TP7Q

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Unsaturated Soil Property Functions for High Volume Change Materials Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
air-entry value
degree of saturation
volume change
void ratio
permeability function
unsaturated soil property function
water storage function
desaturation
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Zhang, Feixia
Supervisor and department
Del Fredlund (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering)
G. Ward Wilson (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Laureano Hoyos (The University of Texas at Arlington)
Michael Hendry (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering)
David Sego (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Department
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Specialization
Geotechnical Engineering
Date accepted
2016-12-02T14:22:02Z
Graduation date
2017-06:Spring 2017
Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Doctoral
Abstract
Unsaturated soil property functions are necessary for numerical modeling of geotechnical engineering problems including transient seepage or contaminant transport involving unsaturated soils such as tailings or mine wastes. The accuracy of the input of material properties significantly influences the correctness of the numerical modeling results. Therefore, it is important to use appropriate unsaturated soil property functions in the numerical modeling of geotechnical engineering problems. The existing soil property functions proposed in the literature by many researchers are based on an implicit assumption that the soil does not undergo volume change as soil suction changes. These estimation techniques may produce reasonable results for soils that do not undergo volume change as soil suction changes (e.g., sands and silts). However, they are not suitable for the estimation of the unsaturated soil property functions for soils that undergo significant volume change as soil suction changes (e.g., Regina clay and Oil Sands Tailings). Revisions to the conventional methodology are proposed to accommodate the need of estimating the unsaturated soil properties for soils that undergo volume change as soil suction changes. The research in this thesis is restricted to the study of hydraulic and volume-mass properties related to the water phrase. The primary objective of this thesis is to develop and verify a revised methodology for estimating the coefficient of permeability function and the water storage function for soils that undergo volume change as soil suction is increased during a drying process. The scope of this thesis is directed at a theoretical study and research program investigating the hydraulic and volume-mass properties of soils that will change volumes as soil suction changes (e.g., Oil Sands Tailings). Laboratory data sets collected from the literature on Regina clay and Oil Sands Tailings have been used to verify the proposed theory. An experimental program has been carried out on Bulyanhulu tailings and Devon silt. Data collected has been used for verifying the proposed theory. A complete set of experimental data for each soil sample includes measured data of the SWCCs, shrinkage curves and the relationship between the saturated permeability versus void ratio.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3G15TP7Q
Rights
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private, scholarly or scientific research. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
Citation for previous publication
Zhang, F., and Fredlund, D. G. (2015). “Examination of the estimation of relative permeability for unsaturated soils”. Canadian Geotechnical Journal. 52 (12): 2077-2087, 10.1139/cgj-2015-0043.Zhang, F., Fredlund, D. G., and Wilson, G. W. (2016). “Water Permeability Function for Soils that Undergo Volume Change as Suction Changes”. Indian Geotechnical Journal. 46 (3): 210-227. doi:10.1007/s40098-016-0187-5.Fredlund, D. G., and Zhang, F. (2013). “Combination of shrinkage curve and soil-water characteristic curves for soils that undergo volume change as soil suction is increased”. Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Paris, France, Sept 2-6.Zhang, F., Fredlund, D. G., Wilson, G. W., and Sedgwick, A. (2014). “Determination of the permeability function for drying oil sands tailings undergoing volume change and desaturation”. Proceedings of the 4th International Oil Sands Tailings Conference, Lake Louise, Banff, A.B. Dec 7-10, pp. 37-46.Zhang, F., Fredlund, D. G., Fredlund, M. D, and Wilson, G. W. 2015. “Role of air-entry value and choice of SWCC in the prediction of the unsaturated permeability”. Proceedings of the 68th Canadian Geotechnical Conference and 7th Canadian Permafrost Conference, Quebec City, Sept 20-23.Zhang, F., Fredlund, D. G., and Wilson, G. W. (2015). “Hydraulic properties for soils that undergo volume change as soil suction is increased”. Proceedings of AP-UNSAT 2015, Guilin, China, Oct 23 –26, pp. 383-392.

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