Determining osmotic suction through electrical conductivity for unsaturated low-plasticity soils - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering Year : 2022

Determining osmotic suction through electrical conductivity for unsaturated low-plasticity soils

Abstract

Determining osmotic suction from the electrical conductivity (EC) of soil pore water was widely reported in the literature. However, while dealing with unsaturated soils, they do not have enough soil pore water to be extracted for a reliable measurement of EC. In this paper, the chilled-mirror dew-point hygrometer and contact filter paper method were used to determine the total and matric suctions for low-plasticity soils with different salinities (0.05 parts per thousand, 2.1 parts per thousand, and 6.76 parts per thousand). A new piecewise function was proposed to calculate the osmotic suction, with the piecewise point corresponding to the first occurrence of precipitated salt in mixed salt solutions (synthetic seawater). EC, ion and salt concentrations used for osmotic suction calculation were transformed from the established relationships of mixed salt solution instead of experimental measurement. The calculated osmotic suction by the proposed equation and the equations in the literature was compared with the indirectly measured one (the difference between the measured total and matric suctions). Results showed that the calculated osmotic suction, especially the one calculated using the proposed function, was in fair agreement with the indirectly measured data (especially for specimens with higher salinity of 6.76 parts per thousand), suggesting that the transformation of EC and concentrations from the established relationship is a good alternative to direct measurement for low-plasticity soil. In particular, the proposed method could be applied to unsaturated low-plasticity soils which do not have enough soil pore water for a proper EC measurement.
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Dates and versions

hal-04011788 , version 1 (02-03-2023)

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Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives

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Zi Ying, Nadia Benahmed, Yu-Jun Cui, Myriam Duc. Determining osmotic suction through electrical conductivity for unsaturated low-plasticity soils. Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, 2022, 14 (6), pp.1946-1955. ⟨10.1016/j.jrmge.2021.12.020⟩. ⟨hal-04011788⟩
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