The effect of clay mineral content on the dynamic response of reconstituted fine grained soil
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Fine grained soils with considerable amount of silt may exhibit sand-like or clay-like behavior depending on several factors such as the amount of fines and clay content, as well as the consistency limits, other variables being kept unchanged. This unpredictable behavior makes silts highly problematic, especially under seismic conditions. This paper describes the laboratory behavior of low plasticity Adapazari silt, known to be highly sensitive to cyclic loading. In the first phase of the basic study reported herein, Adapazari silt was mixed with different percentages of bentonite and kaolin and the behavior of these reconstituted mixtures was investigated in cyclic triaxial and dynamic simple shear tests. The purpose was to identify basic index properties and their threshold values to delineate sand- and clay-like behavior. Such a distinction may make it possible to complement field penetration resistance with appropriate adjustment factors to evaluate the pore pressure development potential, thus the risk of ground failure during an earthquake. The results show that there is a range of liquid limit and plasticity index values above which cyclic failure is significantly mitigated. It can now be stated that silts of intermediate and high plasticity may be deemed of relatively low potential for ground failure during seismic loading.