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 Acta Geotechnica   [SJR: 1.818]   [H-I: 22]   [7 followers]  Follow         Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)    ISSN (Print) 1861-1133 - ISSN (Online) 1861-1125    Published by Springer-Verlag  [2354 journals]
• Quantifying the heterogeneity of shale through statistical combination of
imaging across scales
• Authors: Shabnam J. Semnani; Ronaldo I. Borja
Pages: 1193 - 1205
Abstract: Shale is a highly heterogeneous material across multiple scales. A typical shale consists of nanometer-scale pores and minerals mixed with macroscale fractures and particles of varying size. High-resolution imaging is crucial for characterizing the composition and microstructure of this rock. However, it is generally not feasible to image a large sample of shale at a high resolution over a large field of view (FOV), thus limiting a full characterization of the microstructure of this material. We present a stochastic framework based on multiple-point statistics that uses high-resolution training images to enhance low-resolution images obtained over a large FOV. We demonstrate the approach using X-ray micro-tomography images of organic-rich Woodford shale obtained at two different resolutions and FOV. Results show that the proposed technique can generate realistic high-resolution images of the microstructure of shale over a large FOV.
PubDate: 2017-12-01
DOI: 10.1007/s11440-017-0576-7
Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 6 (2017)

• Rate-independent fracture toughness of gray and black kerogen-rich shales
• Authors: Pooyan Kabir; Franz-Josef Ulm; Ange-Therese Akono
Pages: 1207 - 1227
Abstract: The objective of this investigation is to characterize the influence of the loading rate, scratch speed, mineralogy, morphology, anisotropy, and total organic content on the scratch toughness of organic-rich shale. We focus our study on a gray shale, Toarcian shale (Paris basin, France) and a black shale, Niobrara shale (northeastern Colorado, USA). Microscopic scratch tests are performed for varying scratch speeds and loading rates. We consider several orientations for scratch testing. For all gas shale specimens, the scratch toughness is found to increase with increasing scratch speed. In the asymptotic regime of high speeds, there is a convergence toward a single constant value irrespective of the loading rate. To understand this evolution of the scratch toughness, a nonlinear fracture mechanics model is built that integrates fracture dissipation with the various forms of viscous processes. In particular, a coupling is shown between the fracture energy and the viscoelastic characteristics. An inverse approach which combines scratch and indentation testing makes it possible to represent all tests in a single curve and retrieve the rate-independent fracture toughness of kerogen-rich shale materials. The presence of organic matter drastically alters the creep and fracture properties at the microscopic length-scale. The fracture behavior is anisotropic with the divider orientation yielding the highest fracture toughness value and the short transverse orientation yielding the lowest fracture toughness. Elucidating the fracture-composition-morphology relationships in organic-rich shale will promote advances in science and engineering for energy-related applications such as hydraulic fracturing in unconventional reservoirs or $$\hbox {CO}_2$$ sequestration in depleted reservoirs.
PubDate: 2017-12-01
DOI: 10.1007/s11440-017-0562-0
Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 6 (2017)

• Analysis of size effects on the geomechanical parameters of intact granite
samples under unconfined conditions
• Authors: J. Quiñones; J. Arzúa; L. R. Alejano; F. García-Bastante; D. Mas Ivars; G. Walton
Pages: 1229 - 1242
Abstract: A total of 28 uniaxial compressive strength tests were performed on cylindrical Blanco Mera granite samples with diameters ranging between 14 and 100 mm, with results indicating that this granite undergoes a significant reverse size effect: the UCS increases as sample diameter increases up to 54 mm, but thereafter decreases. It was also found that the results tend to be more scattered for smaller sample diameters. We also found an apparent correlation between Young’s modulus and sample diameter. It was not possible to draw any clear conclusions regarding the variability in Poisson’s ratio with sample size. With respect to crack initiation and crack damage stresses, the behaviour of the tested samples also indicates a reverse effect. This research would suggest that the traditionally assumed decrease in strength as sample size increases does not hold for granite samples with diameters below 54 mm.
PubDate: 2017-12-01
DOI: 10.1007/s11440-017-0531-7
Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 6 (2017)

• Nanoscale origin of the thermo-mechanical behavior of clays
• Authors: Laurent Brochard; Túlio Honório; Matthieu Vandamme; Michel Bornert; Michael Peigney
Pages: 1261 - 1279
Abstract: We investigate the physics behind the complex thermo-mechanical behavior of clays. Depending on their loading history, clays exhibit thermal expansion or contraction, reversible or irreversible, and of much larger magnitude than for usual solids. This anomalous behavior is often attributed to water adsorption, but a proper link between adsorption and thermo-mechanics is still needed, which is the object of this paper. We propose a conceptual model starting from the scale of the adsorption up to the scale of the geomaterial, which successfully explains the thermo-mechanical behavior of clays. Adsorption takes place between clay layers at the nanometer scale. The mechanics of the clay layers is known to be strongly affected by adsorption, e.g., swelling with humidity increase. Here we investigate the effect of drained heating and show that an increase in temperature decreases the amplitude of the confining pressure oscillations with the basal spacing. More subtle is a shift of the oscillations to larger basal spacing. To relate the mechanics of a clay layer to that of the geomaterial, we propose an upscaling in two steps: the clay particle and the clay matrix with inclusions. We model the particle as a stack of layers in which different hydration states (number of water layers in a nanopore) can coexist. This description builds on the theory of shape memory alloys, the physics of which is quite analogous to the case of a clay particle. Upscaling to the scale of the clay matrix with inclusions is performed with conventional self-consistent homogenization. The conceptual model is confronted to three typical experiments of the thermo-mechanical behavior of clay. It captures all the anomalous behaviors of clays: expansion/contraction, reversibility/irreversibility, role of loading history, and impact on preconsolidation pressure. Moreover, it offers a possible nanoscale interpretation of each of these anomalous behaviors.
PubDate: 2017-12-01
DOI: 10.1007/s11440-017-0596-3
Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 6 (2017)

• A modified normalized model for predicting effective soil thermal
conductivity
• Authors: Hailong He; Ying Zhao; Miles F. Dyck; Bingcheng Si; Huijun Jin; Jialong Lv; Jinxin Wang
Pages: 1281 - 1300
Abstract: Effective soil thermal conductivity (λ eff) describes the ability of a multiphase soil to transmit heat by conduction under unit temperature gradient. It is a critical parameter for environmental science, earth and planetary science, and engineering applications. Numerous models are available in the literature, but their applicability is generally restricted to certain soil types or water contents (θ). The objective of this study was to develop a new model in the similar form of the Johansen 1975 model to simulate the λ eff(θ) relationship of soils of various soil textures and water contents. An exponential type model with two parameters is developed and a new function for calculating dry soil thermal conductivity is presented. Performance of the new model and six other normalized models were evaluated with published datasets. The results show that the new model is able to well mimic λ eff(θ) relationship of soils from sand to silt loam and from oven dry to full saturation. In addition, it has the best performance among the seven models under test (with root-mean-square error of 0.059 W m−1 °C−1, average deviations of 0.0009 W m−1 °C−1, and Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency of 0.994). The new model has potential to improve the reliability of soil thermal conductivity estimation and be incorporated into numerical modeling for environmental, earth and engineering studies.
PubDate: 2017-12-01
DOI: 10.1007/s11440-017-0563-z
Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 6 (2017)

• Analytical derivation of water retention for random monodisperse granular
media
Pages: 1319 - 1328
Abstract: The mechanics of water retention in unsaturated granular media is of critical importance to a broad range of disciplines including soil science, geotechnical engineering, hydrology and agriculture. Fundamental to water retention is the relationship between degree of saturation and suction, referred to as the water retention curve (WRC). The majority of WRC models are empirically based and seldom incorporate physically meaningful parameters. This study presents an analytical model for the WRC that considers separate contributions from fully filled pores and partially filled pores containing liquid bridges. A recently established unique k-gamma pore volume distribution function for randomly assembled monodisperse granular materials is adopted to determine the contributions of fully filled pores. Calculation of the contribution of residual pore water retained in partially filled pores is undertaken by representing pores as individual cells shaped as platonic shapes of various sizes and determining the volume of all liquid bridges suspended between particles within the pore cells. Weighting factors for the various cell types are obtained from the pore volume distribution to determine the relative contribution of different pore cell geometries to the total residual pore water. The combined model accurately describes experimental data for monodisperse spherical glass beads for both wetting and drying, even though the underlying assumptions do not reflect exactly the complex, interconnected and highly irregular geometry of the pore space. A single parameter provides the lateral shift between the wetting and drying curves. The results of this study provide a geometric understanding of the mechanisms of water retention in granular media.
PubDate: 2017-12-01
DOI: 10.1007/s11440-017-0546-0
Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 6 (2017)

• Estimation of critical state-related formula in advanced constitutive
modeling of granular material
• Authors: Yin-Fu Jin; Ze-Xiang Wu; Zhen-Yu Yin; Jack Shuilong Shen
Pages: 1329 - 1351
Abstract: Different critical state-related formulas, for the critical state line and the critical state-dependent interlocking effect, have been proposed in constitutive modeling of granular material during last decades, which rises up a confusion on how to select an appropriate model in the geotechnical applications. This paper aims to discuss the selection of these critical state-related formulas and parameters identification. Three formulas of critical state line together with two formulas of critical state-dependent interlocking effect are combined to propose six elasto-plastic models. Drained and undrained triaxial tests on four different granular materials are selected for simulations. In order to eliminate artificial errors, a new hybrid genetic algorithm-based intelligent method is proposed and used to identify parameters and estimate simulations with minimum errors for each granular material and each model. Then, the performance of each CSL and each state parameter is evaluated using two information criteria. Furthermore, the performance was evaluated by simulating three footing tests using finite-element analysis in which the models are implemented. All comparisons demonstrate the incorporation of nonlinear critical state line combined with the state parameter e/e c in constitutive modeling can result in relatively more satisfied simulated results.
PubDate: 2017-12-01
DOI: 10.1007/s11440-017-0586-5
Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 6 (2017)

• A generalized nonlinear failure criterion for frictional materials
• Authors: Shunchuan Wu; Shihuai Zhang; Chao Guo; Liangfeng Xiong
Pages: 1353 - 1371
Abstract: A generalized nonlinear failure criterion formulated in terms of stress invariants is proposed for describing the failure characteristics of different frictional materials. This failure criterion combines a power function and a versatile function in the meridian and deviatoric plane, respectively, which is a generalization of several classic criteria, including the Tresca, Drucker–Prager, Mohr–Coulomb, Lade–Duncan and Matsuoka–Nakai failure criterion. The procedure for determination of the strength parameters was demonstrated in detail. Comparisons between the failure criterion and experimental results were presented for uncemented/cemented Monterey sand, normally consolidated Fujinomori clay, rockfill, concrete, Mu-San sandstone and granite, which reveal that the proposed failure criterion captures experimental trend quite well.
PubDate: 2017-12-01
DOI: 10.1007/s11440-017-0532-6
Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 6 (2017)

• A basic hypoplastic constitutive model for sand
• Authors: Wei Wu; Jia Lin; Xuetao Wang
Pages: 1373 - 1382
Abstract: Hypoplastic constitutive models are based on nonlinear tensor functions and are characterized by simple formulation and few parameters. In its early stage, mainly basic hypoplastic constitutive equations were concerned, where the stress tensor is assumed as the only state variable. There followed some enhanced models based on the basic constitutive equation by including void ratio as an additional state variable. In this paper, we first show that the widely used hypoplastic model by Wolffersdorff is seriously flawed because the underlying basic equation does not perform properly. We proceed to develop a basic hypoplastic constitutive equation by introducing a new tensorial term, which preserves the critical state at large strain. The model performance is demonstrated by parameter study for some element tests. This simple and robust basic equation is well suited to build more sophisticated models.
PubDate: 2017-12-01
DOI: 10.1007/s11440-017-0550-4
Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 6 (2017)

• A frozen soil creep model with strength attenuation
• Authors: Xiaoliang Yao; Jilin Qi; Mengxin Liu; Fan Yu
Pages: 1385 - 1393
Abstract: A frozen soil creep model with shear strength attenuation was proposed based on a soft soil creep model. K 0 compression and triaxial shear tests were conducted to obtain the model parameters. With triaxial creep tests, the performance of soft soil creep model was verified at first. It was shown that different creep stages can only be described separately, which was due to a constant failure line used in the model. After incorporating strength attenuation into the original model, relative position between stress point and failure line is time dependent, and the progressive development of creep strain from primary to tertiary stage can be captured reasonably.
PubDate: 2017-12-01
DOI: 10.1007/s11440-017-0554-0
Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 6 (2017)

• Comparison of two creep degradation modeling approaches for soft
structured soils
• Authors: Zhen-Yu Yin; Qi-Yin Zhu; Dong-Mei Zhang
Pages: 1395 - 1413
Abstract: The creep degradation is a common phenomenon for soft structured clays. In this paper, the creep degradation behavior for soft structured clays is first studied by combining intrinsic creep behavior and the structure indicator. A creep-implicit model and a creep-explicit model corresponding to a stress-based and a creep-based structure indicators are developed, respectively, under one-dimensional condition. Parameters determination for both models is straightforward from oedometer tests. Coupled with consolidation theory, both models are used to simulate oedometer tests with different structural levels and load durations on three clays. The predictive ability of the two models on creep behavior, creep degradation behavior and evolution of structure indicator is analyzed. The relationship between the two structure indicators is discussed based on experimental results. The comparison between experimental and numerical results demonstrates that both models can accurately describe the creep degradation behavior of soft structured clay under one-dimensional loading.
PubDate: 2017-12-01
DOI: 10.1007/s11440-017-0556-y
Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 6 (2017)

• Probabilistic evaluation of tunnel face stability in spatially random
soils using sparse polynomial chaos expansion with global sensitivity
analysis
• Authors: Qiujing Pan; Daniel Dias
Pages: 1415 - 1429
Abstract: The sparse polynomial chaos expansion is employed to perform a probabilistic analysis of the tunnel face stability in the spatially random soils. A shield tunnel under compressed air is considered which implies that the applied pressure is uniformly distributed on the tunnel face. Two sets of failure mechanisms in the context of the limit analysis theory with respect to the frictional and the purely cohesive soils are used to calculate the required face pressure. In the case of the frictional soils, the cohesion and the friction angle are modeled as two anisotropic cross-correlated lognormal random fields; for the purely cohesive soils, the cohesion and the unit weight are modeled as two anisotropic independent lognormal random fields. The influences of the spatial variability and of the cross-correlation between the cohesion and the friction angle on the probability density function of the required face pressure, on the sensitivity index and on the failure probability are discussed. The obtained results show that the spatial variability has an important influence on the probability density function as well as the failure probability, but it has a negligible impact on the Sobol’s index.
PubDate: 2017-12-01
DOI: 10.1007/s11440-017-0541-5
Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 6 (2017)

• Theoretical analysis of desiccation crack spacing of a thin, long soil
layer
• Authors: Susanga Costa; Jayantha Kodikara; S. L. Barbour; D. G. Fredlund
Abstract: Soil desiccation cracking is important for a range of engineering applications, but the theoretical advancement of this process is less than satisfactory. In particular, it is not well understood how the crack spacing-to-depth ratio depends on soil material behaviour. In the past, two approaches, namely stress relief and energy balance, have been used to predict the crack spacing-to-depth ratio. The current paper utilises these two approaches to predict the approximate spacing-to-depth ratio of parallel cracks that form in long desiccating soil layers subjected to uniform tensile stress (or suction profile) while resting on a hard base. The theoretical developments have examined the formation of simultaneous and sequential crack patterns and have identified an important relationship between the stress relief and energy approaches. In agreement with experimental observations, it was shown that the spacing-to-depth ratio decreases with layer depth, and crack spacing generally increases with layer depth. The influence of the stiffness at the base interface indicated that decreasing the basal interface stiffness makes the crack spacing to increase in sequential crack formation. The experimental observations also show a decrease in cracking water content with the decrease in layer thickness, and this behaviour was explained on the basis of a critical depth concept.
PubDate: 2017-11-15
DOI: 10.1007/s11440-017-0602-9

• Fracture evolution and energy mechanism of deep-buried carbonaceous slate
• Authors: Ziquan Chen; Chuan He; Di Wu; Guowen Xu; Wenbo Yang
Abstract: In order to study the influence of confining pressure and water content on the mechanical properties, fracture evolution and energy damage mechanism of deep-buried carbonaceous slate, uniaxial and triaxial compression tests were carried out under natural and saturated states and acoustic emission monitored. The deep-buried carbonaceous slate samples were obtained at a depth of 1020 m from the Lanjiayan tunnel in Sichuan province, China, where the maximum in situ stress has been measured at 44.2 MPa. The results suggest that water has a significant softening effect on the strength and deformation characteristics of carbonaceous slate, but the effect decreases with an increase in the confining pressure. When both the confining pressure and water content are increased, the acoustic emission events and dissipated energy gradually increase at the pre-peak and post-peak stages. Thus, the AE evolution type seen in the natural state under low confining pressure usually presents as a main shock-type event, and it changes to a foreshock–main shock–after shock event when saturated and at high confining pressures. Based on the S-shaped energy evolution law, the damage evolution process of carbonaceous slate was analyzed. The damage stress thresholds σ ea and σ eb were obtained, which can be considered as the thresholds of the rock entering the energy-hardening and energy-softening stages. Finally, a new brittleness energy index BDE is proposed to describe the influence of confining pressure and water content on the damage mechanism of deep-buried carbonaceous slate.
PubDate: 2017-11-10
DOI: 10.1007/s11440-017-0606-5

• Capillary collapse of loose pyroclastic unsaturated sands characterized at
grain scale
• Authors: Mariagiovanna Moscariello; Sabatino Cuomo; Simon Salager
Abstract: The reduction in volume for unsaturated soils wetted at constant total stress is indicated as capillary collapse. Several studies conducted on standard laboratory specimens (macro-scale) outlined the role of initial void ratio, confining pressure and matric suction on collapse onset. Conversely, few observations were made at grain scale, although an important influence of soil structure has been supposed since years. This paper investigated the collapse of coarse and fine sands derived from a pyroclastic soil of Southern Italy. The X-ray computed tomography was used to identify the mechanisms acting at grain scale and to measure the local variations of soil structure. The experimental procedure consisted in preparing remoulded unsaturated specimens and reducing the matric suction until the collapse occurred under self-weight. At different stages of the process, the sample was imaged by X-ray tomography. The experimental results provided original insight into: (1) transformation of soil structure during the wetting tests; (2) variation of porosity, water content and degree of saturation for the whole specimen; and (3) local variations of those variables in several representative sub-volumes. It is worth noting that collapse of coarse sand specimen occurred before saturation. This was also emphasized by the presence of macro-voids at collapse.
PubDate: 2017-10-31
DOI: 10.1007/s11440-017-0603-8

• Correction to: A basic hypoplastic constitutive model for sand
• Authors: Wei Wu; Jia Lin; Xuetao Wang
Abstract: In the original publication of the article, the placement of the symbol sigma in the last term of Eq. (6) is incorrect. The correct equation should read as given below.
PubDate: 2017-10-30
DOI: 10.1007/s11440-017-0605-6

• Effect of particle size distribution on the bio-cementation of coarse
aggregates
• Authors: Aamir Mahawish; Abdelmalek Bouazza; Will P. Gates
Abstract: The effect of grain size distribution on the unconfined compressive strength (UCS) of bio-cemented granular columns is examined. Fine and coarse aggregates were mixed in various percentages to obtain five different grain size distributions. A four-phase percolation strategy was adopted where a bacterial suspension and a cementation solution (urea and calcium chloride) were percolated sequentially. The results show that a gap-graded particle size distribution can improve the UCS of bio-cemented coarser granular materials. A maximum UCS of approximately 575 kPa was achieved with a particle size distribution containing 75% coarse aggregate and 25% fine aggregate. Furthermore, the minimum UCS obtained has applications where mitigation of excessive bulging of stone/sand columns, and possible slumping that might occur during their installation, is needed. The finding also implies that the amount of biochemical treatments can be reduced by adding fine aggregate to coarse aggregate resulting in effective bio-cementation within the pore matrix of the coarse aggregate column as it could substantially reduce the cost associated with bio-cementation process. Scanning electron microscopy results confirm that adding fine aggregate to coarse aggregate provides more bridging contacts (connected by calcium carbonate precipitation) between coarse aggregate particles, and hence, the maximum UCS achieved was not necessarily associated with the maximum calcium carbonate precipitation.
PubDate: 2017-10-28
DOI: 10.1007/s11440-017-0604-7

• Deformation and stresses upon drainage of an idealized granular material
• Authors: Chao Yuan; Bruno Chareyre; Félix Darve
Abstract: A pore-scale numerical model is employed to simulate the primary drainage of a deformable assembly of spherical grains. The model combines the discrete element method and a pore-scale method, respectively, for the solid phase and the fluid phases. The evolution of strain along the simulated drainage in oedometer conditions is reported. The combined actions of phase pressures and surface tension lead the solid skeleton to first shrink and then to swell at the approach of residual saturation. The effective stress is examined through the Bishop’s coefficient $$\chi$$ , obtained by a back analysis of the simulated strain. It is found that $$\chi$$ is relatively close to the degree of saturation, with an exception at very low saturation. Further, a contact stress obtained by averaging micromechanical quantities is found nearly exactly equal to the effective stress deduced directly from the strain, in contrast to previous findings. A detailed analysis of the heterogeneous fields of effective stress, saturation and pressure is offered, suggesting a unique relationship between $$\chi$$ and saturation at a mesoscale.
PubDate: 2017-10-23
DOI: 10.1007/s11440-017-0601-x

• Numerical investigation of rainfall-induced fines migration and its
influences on slope stability
• Authors: Xiaoqin Lei; Zongji Yang; Siming He; Enlong Liu; Henry Wong; Xinpo Li
Abstract: Rainfall-infiltration-induced fines migration within soil slopes may alter the local porosity and hydraulic properties of soils, and is known to be a possible cause of the failure of slopes. To investigate the intrinsic mechanisms, a mathematical formulation capable of capturing the main features of the coupled unsaturated seepage and fines migration process has been presented. Within the formulation, an unsaturated erodible soil is treated as a three-phase multi-species porous medium based on mixture theory; mass conservation equations with mass exchange terms together with the rate equations controlling fines erosion and deposition processes are formulated as the governing equations and are solved by the FEM method. The influences of both the fines detachment and deposition on the stability of slopes under rainfall infiltration have been investigated numerically. The results show that depending on whether the fines move out or get captured at pore constrictions, both desired and undesired consequences may arise out of the fines migration phenomenon. It is suggested that more attention should be paid to those slopes susceptible to internal erosion whose safety analysis cannot be predicted by traditional methods.
PubDate: 2017-10-17
DOI: 10.1007/s11440-017-0600-y

• A compression model for sand–silt mixtures based on the concept of
active and inactive voids
• Authors: Ching S. Chang; Mehrashk Meidani; Yibing Deng
Abstract: A compression model for sand–silt mixtures is needed in geotechnical engineering, for example in the analysis and prediction of deformation of levees and embankments due to internal erosion. In this paper, we introduce a novel concept of dividing the voids of a granular material into two hypothetical fractions: active and inactive voids. The active voids are kinematically available to the compression process. The inactive voids are kinematically unavailable to the compression process. The volume of active voids is dependent on the initial density and effective stress level. The volume of inactive voids is dependent on the amount of fines in the mixture. The current paper considers 1-D and isotropic compression behavior of sand–silt mixtures at stress levels lower than 2 MPa, so no substantial particle breakage is expected to occur. To successfully predict the void ratio for a sand–silt mixture during compression loading, we need (1) a mathematical expression for the evolution of the active void ratio during compression and (2) a relationship between the inactive void ratio and fines content of the mixture. For sand–silt mixtures with any amount of fines, the proposed model requires five material parameters, which are determined from two compression tests, and four minimum void ratio tests on sand–silt mixtures with different fines content. The performance of the proposed model is verified for six different types of sand–silt mixture with various fines contents, by comparing the predicted void ratios with the measured data from the experiments. The comparisons show a good agreement between the predictions and the measured data and prove the suitability of the proposed model for the prediction of compressibility of sand–silt mixtures with any amount of fines.
PubDate: 2017-10-16
DOI: 10.1007/s11440-017-0598-1

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