Tests were conducted to determine the variation of water content and pore water suction for compacted clayey soils. The soils had varying amounts of clay fraction with plasticities ranging from low to high plasticity. The unsaturated soil behavior was investigated for six conditions, covering a range of compactive efforts and water contents. The experimental data were fit to four commonly used models for the water content-pore water suction relationship. Each model provided a satisfactory fit to the experimental data. However, the individual parameters obtained from the curve fits varied significantly between models. The soil water characteristic curves (SWCCs) were more sensitive to changes in compaction effort than changes in compaction water content. At similar water contents, the pore water suction increased with increasing compaction effort for each compaction condition and soil type. For all compaction conditions, the lowest plasticity soils retained the smallest water content and the highest plasticity soils retained the highest water content at a specified suction. In addition, SWCCs for soils compacted in the laboratory and in the field were similar.


Civil and Environmental Engineering



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