The cone penetration test in unsaturated silty sands
1 Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong
2 Centre for Infrastructure Engineering and Safety, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia, 2052
a Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Very little is known about how to interpret the cone penetration test (CPT) when performed in unsaturated soils. The few published studies on the CPT in unsaturated soils have focused on either clean sands or a silt. In this study new results of laboratory-controlled CPTs in an unsaturated silty sand are presented. The silty sand exhibits hydraulic hysteresis and suction hardening. Suction is observed to have a pronounced affect on measured cone penetration resistance. For an isotropic net confining stress of 60 kPa it is observed that higher suctions give rise to cone penetration resistances that are 50% larger than those for lower suctions. A semi-theoretical correlation is presented that links measured cone penetration resistances to initial relative density and mean effective stress. For this silty sand it is shown that failing to account for suction may result in significant overestimations and unsafe predictions of soil properties from measured cone penetration resistances.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2016
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