Correlation between durability and geotechnical properties of compacted shales

L. S. Bryson, I. C. Gomez-Gutierrez, T. C. Hopkins

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In many areas of the United States, shale is used in the construction of highway embankments and pavement subgrades due to the lack of economical alternate materials. Immediately after construction, compacted shale exhibits an acceptable range of engineering properties and behaviors. Unfortunately, with time and in the presence of wet conditions, compacted shale becomes less durable. This reduction in durability translates to the reduction of stability and loss of bearing capacity. This paper presents the results and analysis of several engineering tests performed on a number of different unweathered and weathered shale samples in Kentucky. Slake-durability tests were performed on unweathered shale samples while consolidated undrained triaxial compression tests were performed on compacted weathered shale samples. The test data suggest that the clay fraction of crushed unweathered samples correlates with the consistency index. Also, the ratio between the slake-durability index and clay fraction correlates with natural water content. Finally, this durability ratio can be used to predict the effective critical state friction angle of compacted shale. In general, correlations between the durability ratio and geotechnical properties provided a means to estimate the suitability of compacted shale typically used in embankments and pavement subgrades.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGeo-Frontiers 2011
Subtitle of host publicationAdvances in Geotechnical Engineering - Proceedings of the Geo-Frontiers 2011 Conference
Number of pages10
Edition211 GSP
StatePublished - 2011
EventGeo-Frontiers 2011: Advances in Geotechnical Engineering - Dallas, TX, United States
Duration: Mar 13 2011Mar 16 2011

Publication series

NameGeotechnical Special Publication
Number211 GSP
ISSN (Print)0895-0563


ConferenceGeo-Frontiers 2011: Advances in Geotechnical Engineering
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityDallas, TX


  • Embankments
  • Highways and roads
  • Soil properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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