Compacted Unsaturated Soil Behavior in a Large Scale Laboratory Test

Corrie Walton-Macaulay, L. Sebastian Bryson, Jason Curd

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


This paper discusses the responsive behavior of an unsaturated clay soil to compaction conditions in a large-scale laboratory test. A laboratory test was developed in order to use a field geo-gauge to measure and observe soil stiffness behaviors. The soil was compacted at water contents ranging from dry to wet of a standard proctor optimum moisture content. Monotonic loading conditions were employed and stiffness measurements were determined with each incremental compaction effort. The responsive behaviors of the mechanical and dynamic properties with changes in void ratio of the compacted soils are discussed. Generally, the resiliency of the soil is shown by increases in stiffness with changes in void ratio due to incremental compaction efforts. An existing method of estimation of matric suction was employed in the analyses of the data. The trends of stiffness and matric suction of the clay based on the large-scale laboratory tests were found to be typical of trends from other generally used laboratory test methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-435
Number of pages11
JournalGeotechnical Special Publication
Issue numberGSP 301
StatePublished - 2018
Event2nd Pan-American Conference on Unsaturated Soils: Fundamentals, PanAm-UNSAT 2017 - Dallas, United States
Duration: Nov 12 2017Nov 15 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors appreciate the support of Dr. Michael Kalinski, Dr. Blandford and Dr. Woolery, at the Civil Engineering and Geology Departments of the University of Kentucky, in Lexington. Funding was partially provided by the Kentucky Transportation Center at the University of Kentucky.

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2018 by the American Society of Civil Engineers. All Rights Reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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