Collapse of dry sand

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Abstract: Loose cohesionless saturated materials have proved responsible for a number of serious or catastrophic flow slides. Liquefaction failures with no obvious triggering mechanism have also been recorded. This phenomenon of sudden liquefaction without a presence of cyclic shear stresses is often referred to as spontaneous or static liquefaction. Results from previously published studies suggest that liquefaction is triggered not by the undrained loading and generation of pore pressures but by the collapse of the metastable sand structure, which in turn generates the driving pore pressures in a saturated material. Hence, the collapse is a characteristic response of a material to certain stress states rather than a result of some enforced undrained loading. This theory is evaluated on very loose dry Ottawa sand. It is shown that the very loose dry sand when subjected to a constant deviatoric stress path significantly changes its behavior at a certain discreet stress state, increases compressibility, and becomes increasingly unstable. This results in collapse - vigorous contraction of the specimen. This structural collapse appears to be equivalent to the pore-pressure generation in collapsing, very loose saturated sand.

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  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
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  • License
    © 1994 NRC Research Press (Canadian Science Publishing). This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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  • Citation for previous publication
    • Skopek, P., Morgenstern, N. R., Robertson, P. K., & Sego, D. C. (1994). Collapse of dry sand. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 31(6), 1003-1008.