Water repellent soils: the case for unsaturated soil mechanics
1 The University of Western Australia, Perth, WA
2 Durham University Durham, UK
a Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Water repellent (or “hydrophobic” or “non-wetting”) soils have been studied by soil scientists for well over a century. These soils are typified by poor water infiltration, which leads to increased soil erosion and poor crop growth. However, the importance of water repellence on determining soil properties is now becoming recognised by geotechnical engineers. Water repellent soils may, for example, offer novel solutions for the design of cover systems overlying municipal or mine waste storage facilities. However, investigations into factors affecting their mechanical properties have only recently been initiated. This purpose of this paper is to introduce geotechnical engineers to the concept of water repellent soils and to discuss how their properties can be evaluated under an unsaturated soils framework. Scenarios in which water repellent properties might be relevant in geotechnical applications are presented and methods to quantify these properties in the laboratory and in the field examined.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2016
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