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Hydraulic hysteresis of natural pyroclastic soils in partially saturated conditions: experimental investigation and modelling

Abstract : Abstract In many geotechnical applications, especially in the study of weather-induced landslides, a reliable soil hydraulic characterization in unsaturated conditions is required. Currently, the experimental techniques that neglect the hydraulic hysteresis represent the greatest limitation to landslide forecasting. In this paper, a procedure to obtain an unsaturated soil hydraulic characterization on natural pyroclastic samples is proposed and verified. The approach enables the evaluation of the soil hydraulic properties along the main drying path and wetting/drying cycles to fully quantify the effects of the hydraulic hysteresis. Pyroclastic soil samples collected at a test site at Mount Faito in the Campania region (southern Italy) were tested. The experimental investigation consisted of a sequence of testing phases: a constant-head hydraulic conductivity test, a forced evaporation test followed by several wetting–drying cycles, and a drying test in a pressure plate apparatus. The hysteretic model proposed by Parker and Lenhard (1987) was adopted to fit the data, while inverse modelling of the forced evaporation tests allowed to derive the model parameters. Therefore, the main drying and wetting branches and the soil response to drying and wetting cycles from any reversal point were reproduced with the model, which suitably described the hysteretic behaviour of the pyroclastic soil under all conditions and along all paths.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03285196
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Submitted on : Tuesday, July 13, 2021 - 10:56:12 AM
Last modification on : Monday, July 19, 2021 - 11:19:48 AM

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Ana Sofia Dias, Marianna Pirone, Marco Valerio Nicotera, Gianfranco Urciuoli. Hydraulic hysteresis of natural pyroclastic soils in partially saturated conditions: experimental investigation and modelling. Acta Geotechnica, Springer Verlag, In press, ⟨10.1007/s11440-021-01273-y⟩. ⟨hal-03285196⟩

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