Evolution of small strain soil stiffness during freeze-thaw cycle: Transition from capillarity to cementation examined using magnetic and piezo crystal sensors

Junghee Park, Jong Sub Lee, Jongmuk Won, Jongchan Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Freeze-thaw cycles caused by seasonal temperature fluctuations significantly affect the geotechnical engineering properties. This study investigated the crucial role of water distribution patterns in the characterization of elastic wave properties for the fine F-110 sand during a freeze-thaw cycle. Sand specimens with four different water distribution patterns were prepared, namely homogeneously-mixed, evaporation-driven, vertically-, and horizontally-layered specimens. The P-and S-wave signatures of the specimens were monitored using piezo crystal sensors. Results indicated the criticality of water distribution patterns in the determination of small-strain soil properties even though the specimens had identical global water saturation. The nuclear magnetic resonance-based water volume depth profiles indicated that the evaporation-driven specimens had more heterogeneous pore-invasive ice-bonding layers at a high water saturation region; by contrast, the drying process facilitated uniform meniscuses around the particle contacts near the air percolation threshold. Elastic wave measurements for laboratory-prepared specimens might over/underestimate the small-strain soil stiffness of sediments in nature, wherein the drying processes prevailed to control the water saturation. This study highlighted a clear transition from capillary-controlled to cementation-controlled elastic wave properties during temperature oscillations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2992
JournalSensors
Volume21
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 May 1

Keywords

  • Capillary pressure
  • Cementation
  • Degree of water saturation
  • Elastic wave
  • Freeze-thaw cycle
  • Water distribution patterns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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