The occurrence and extent of collapse settlement in residual granite in the Stellenbosch area

Gildenhuys, Nanine (2010-12)

Thesis (MScEng (Civil Engineering))--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Large areas of the earth’s surface are covered by soils that are susceptible to large decreases in bulk volume when they become saturated. These soils are termed collapsing soils and are very common in parts of the USA, Asia, South America and Southern Africa. This study is concerned with the occurrence of these collapsible soils in the residual granites of the Stellenbosch area. The study was undertaken as relatively little is known about the collapse phenomenon in the problematic weathered granites of the Western Cape. The majority of research thus far has been carried out on the deep residual soils formed on basement-granite in the Transvaal areas, whereas little attention has been paid to the Cape granites. The aim of the study was achieved through the experimental work which included double oedometer testing, indicator analyses and shear strength testing. Double oedometer tests were performed to quantify the potential collapse settlement of the soils from the demarcated study area. To provide a better understanding of the collapse behaviour of the soils, indicator analysis, which included Atterberg limits and particle size distributions, were performed. Direct shear tests were further carried out on saturated and natural moisture content specimens to establish the effect of collapsibility on shear strength and whether substantial additional settlement of the saturated soils would occur during shear. It was found that collapsible soils are prevalent in the demarcated study area as the majority of soils showed a potential collapse settlement of 1% or more. Collapse exceeding 5% were calculated in a few instances proving some soils to be highly collapsible. The double oedometer and indicator analysis results were used in an attempt to obtain a relationship between collapse settlement and a combination of easily determined properties such as dry density (void ratio), moisture content and grading, but no meaningful conclusions have emerged. The shear strength tests indicated that a clear correlation does not exist between collapsibility and shear strength. It was further established that a relationship between collapse settlement determined during the double oedometer testing and the volume change during shear strength testing cannot be assumed. It can thus be concluded that soils can be very unpredictable and further research on the collapse phenomenon is indicated.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Groot dele van die aarde se oppervlakte is bedek deur grondtipes wat geneig is tot ‘n afname in volume as dit deurweek word. Hierdie gronde word swigversakkende gronde genoem en dit word algemeen teëgekom in dele van die VSA, Asië, Suid-Amerika en Suider-Afrika. In hierdie studie word die voorkoms van swigversakkende gronde in die residuele graniet in die Stellenbosch area ondersoek. Die studie is onderneem aangesien relatief min i.v.m. die swigversakking-verskynsel in die problematiese verweerde graniet van die Weskaap bekend is. Die meeste van die navorsing sover is onderneem op die diep residuele gronde wat gevorm is op die Argaïese graniet in die Transvaal gebied, en betreklik min aandag is geskenk aan die Kaapse graniet. Tydens die studie is eksperimente wat dubbele oedometer toetse, indikator analises, en skuifsterkte toetse insluit, uitgevoer. Dubbele oedometer toetse is uitgevoer om die potensiële swigversakking van die grond in die afgebakende studiegebied te kwantifiseer. In ‘n poging om die swigversakking-verskynsel van die grond beter te verstaan, is indikator analises wat Atterberg grense en partikel grootte verspreiding insluit, uitgevoer. Direkte skuiftoetse is ook uitgevoer op deurweekte grondmonsters en op monsters wat natuurlike vog bevat, om sodoende die effek van swigversakking op skuifsterkte vas te stel en om uit te vind of aansienlike addisionele sakking van die deurweekte gronde tydens skuif plaasvind. Daar is gevind dat swigversakkende gronde die oorheersende grondtipe in die afgebakende studiegebied is waar meeste van die gronde ‘n potensiële swigversakking van meer as 1% toon. ‘n Swigversakking van meer as 5% is in ‘n paar gevalle bereken, wat bewys dat sommige grondtipes hoogs versakkend is. Die resultate van die dubbele oedometer en indikator analises is gebruik in ‘n poging om te bewys dat daar ‘n verhouding bestaan tussen swigversakking en ‘n kombinasie van kenmerke wat maklik vasgestel kan word soos droë digdheid (ruimte verhouding), voginhoud en gradering, maar daar kon nie tot ‘n sinvolle slotsom gekom word nie. Die skuifsterkte toetse toon dat daar nie ‘n duidelike korrelasie bestaan tussen swigversakking en skuifsterkte nie. Daar is verder vasgestel dat dit nie moontlik is om te aanvaar dat daar ‘n verhouding bestaan tussen swigversakking soos vasgestel tydens die dubbele oedometer toetsing, en die verandering in volume tydens skuifsterkte toetsing nie. Daar is dus tot die slotsom gekom dat grond baie onvoorspelbaar kan wees en dat verdere navorsing na die swigversakking-verskynsel nodig is.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/5214
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