In this study, tests were conducted to investigate the use of ultrasonic methods to determine compaction characteristics of clayey soils. In particular, through-transmission test method was used to determine P-wave velocities in compacted clayey soils. Effects of soil type and compaction conditions on velocity were investigated. Tests were conducted on three soils that had low, medium, and high plasticity. Soils were prepared at water contents ranging from dry to wet of optimum using standard and modified compaction efforts. It was observed that velocity increased with increasing compactive effort and decreasing plasticity and clay content. Moreover, the variation of ultrasonic velocity with water content was similar to the variation of dry density with water content. Shapes of the water content versus velocity plots correlated well with the shapes of compaction plots. Access to two opposite surfaces of samples was required to perform through-transmission measurements. Additional tests were conducted to determine the feasibility of using surface-transmission with access required only to top surface of soils to measure velocity. Velocities that were similar to through-transmission velocities were obtained with surface measurements using correction factors. Through-transmission can be used in the laboratory; whereas surface-transmission can potentially be used in the field to determine ultrasonic velocity of compacted clayey soils. This method shows promise for determination of compaction properties of clayey soils in the field.


Civil and Environmental Engineering


URL: http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/cenv_fac/198