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  • Isotropic yielding of unsaturated cemented silty sand

     Arroyo Alvarez de Toledo, Marcos; Amaral, Miguel F.; Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; da Fonseca, Antonio Viana
    Canadian geotechnical journal
    Date of publication: 2013-06
    Journal article

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    Unsaturated cemented soils are frequent both as designed materials and as naturally occurring layers. Both desiccation and cementation act separately as hardening mechanisms, but it is not clear how exactly their effects combine. Do they enhance one another? Are they mutually reinforcing? This study presents results from an experimental campaign aimed at answering these questions. Five different mixtures of soil (a granite saprolite) and cement (with cement contents in the range 0% to 7% on a dry weight basis) are tested in isotropic compression at four different water content levels. Initial void ratio is also controlled, using two initial compaction densities. Loading is performed at constant water content and suction is inferred from a set of water retention curves obtained from parallel psychrometric and pore-size distribution measurements. The range of yield stresses explored in this study covers almost two orders of magnitude and extends up to 7 MPa at suction values of up to 14 MPa. Both desiccation and cementation increase yield stress, but their effects are less marked when both act together, and therefore they are not mutually reinforcing.

  • Progressive emergence of double porosity in a silt during compaction

     Casini, Francesca; Vaunat, Jean; Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; Desideri, Augusto
    Date of publication: 2013-02
    Book chapter

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    The paper deals with an experimental investigation of water retention properties of a statically compacted unsaturated low plasticity silt. The objective is a deeper understanding of the evolution of an aggregate type fabric at different initial conditions in terms of void ratio and water content. A series of Mercury Intrusion Porosimetry tests (MIP) were performed to provide information about factors influencing fabric changes (effect of mechanical stress due to sample compaction) and fabric-properties relationships (water retention curve related to porosimetry). The arrangements of aggregation/particles are also investigated with Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy (ESEM). The experimental data has been used to calibrate a multimodal water retention model for aggregate which is obtained by linear superposition of sub-curves of the van Genuchten type modified. By comparing the WRC obtained by MIP and under suction controlled conditions it has been found a good agreement between the two method for the drying path.

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    Thermo-hydro-mechanical analysis for the simulation of rapid sliding process in a new and fast ring shear prototype  Open access

     Serri, Victor; Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; Lloret Morancho, Antonio; Suriol Castellvi, Jose; Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo
    International Conference on Vajont - 1963-2013
    Presentation's date: 2013-10-09
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Vajont was a case of an extremely fast landslide and efforts to clarify the failure have been mainly concentrated in providing a consistent explanation taking into account this characteristic feature. Particularly in the case of Vajont landslide, attention has been essentially focused on the shearing properties of the sliding surface. An accepted explanation for the velocity reached is the thermo-hydraulic-mechanical coupling under saturated conditions, which induces thermal dilation and effective stress reduction due to pore pressure build-up. Nevertheless, lack of in situ and experimental information has become one of the main drawbacks when trying to explain these coupled processes. In situ information is difficult to obtain since temperature and pore pressure development during these fast processes are impossible of being measured. To overcome this limitation, a new fast sliding prototype -emulating a ring shear apparatus- has been recently developed at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (Spain). This prototype can reach relatively high speeds along the sliding surface (up to 30 km/h) under relatively high total vertical stresses (up to 3 MPa). Temperature and pore pressure changes can be locally measured with miniature transducers located close to the shear band. The design of this complex prototype requires the use of simulation-aided techniques, to help with the interpretation of the coupled processes, as well as to estimate the maximum temperature and pore pressure changes. A thermo-hydro-mechanical formulation, applied to the ring shear test, is proposed in the paper to study pore water pressure build up and dissipation in a sliding surface being heated by the frictional work induced by the motion. Particularly, the proposed model is applied to simulate the evolution of the shear strength along the sliding surface during a fast sliding process.

    Vajont was a case of an extremely fast landslide and efforts to clarify the failure have been mainly concentrated in providing a consistent explanation taking into account this characteristic feature. Particularly in the case of Vajont landslide, attention has been essentially focused on the shearing properties of the sliding surface. An accepted explanation for the velocity reached is the thermo-hydraulic-mechanical coupling under saturated conditions, which induces thermal dilation and effective stress reduction due to pore pressure build-up. Nevertheless, lack of in situ and experimental information has become one of the main drawbacks when trying to explain these coupled processes. In situ information is difficult to obtain since temperature and pore pressure development during these fast processes are impossible of being measured. To overcome this limitation, a new fast sliding prototype -emulating a ring shear apparatus- has been recently developed at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (Spain). This prototype can reach relatively high speeds along the sliding surface (up to 30 km/h) under relatively high total vertical stresses (up to 3 MPa). Temperature and pore pressure changes can be locally measured with miniature transducers located close to the shear band. The design of this complex prototype requires the use of simulation-aided techniques, to help with the interpretation of the coupled processes, as well as to estimate the maximum temperature and pore pressure changes. A thermo-hydro-mechanical formulation, applied to the ring shear test, is proposed in the paper to study pore water pressure build up and dissipation in a sliding surface being heated by the frictional work induced by the motion. Particularly, the proposed model is applied to simulate the evolution of the shear strength along the sliding surface during a fast sliding process.

  • Effects of relative humidity cycling on the hydro-mechanical behaviour of two clayey rocks from North-East Spain

     Pineda Jimenez, Jubert Andrés; Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar
    Pan-American Conference on Unsaturated Soils
    Presentation's date: 2013-02
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    The paper describes the results of an experimental research aimed at studying the effects of relative humidity cycling on the degradation phenomena of two clayey rocks from North-East Spain, with particular emphasis on peak shear strength, low-strain stiffness and water permeability. Undisturbed samples were subjected to an extreme relative humidity cycle (between 15% and 99%) using the vapour transfer technique, before performing triaxial compression and water permeability tests. Rock stiffness was evaluated by ultrasonic pulse tests. Test results showed clear differences in stiffness and shear strength response between undisturbed and degraded samples, highlighting the relevance of hydraulically induced degradation phenomena on this type of materials.

  • Laboratory experiments on swelling due to crystal growth in sulphate argillaceous rocks

     Deu, Amadeu; Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; Berdugo de Moya, Ivan Rafael
    Pan-American Conference on Unsaturated Soils
    Presentation's date: 2013-02
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Crystal growth is a frequent cause of expansive deformations in natural soils, compacted soils, rocks and concrete. The sulphate crystallization in discontinuities and cracks due to evaporation of highly mineralized solutions can contribute in an important way to displacements and swelling pressures that usually appear in tunnels and deep foundations in argillaceous rocks. The present work is aimed to study the basic mechanisms that control the hydrated sulphate mineral growth in anhydritic-gypsiferous argillaceous rocks due to the evaporation of groundwater. The paper presents some laboratory works including mineralogical and micro-structural analysis, as well as the design and development of new free swelling tests which were developed focusing on the capacity to discern the role carried out by the geochemical properties of the water, the main environmental variables and the degree of cracking on undisturbed sulphate argillaceous samples from different zones of the Lower Ebro Basin (Catalonia, Spain).

  • Progressive emergence of double porosity in a silt during compaction

     Casini, Francesca; Vaunat, Jean; Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; Desideri, Augusto
    Pan-American Conference on Unsaturated Soils
    Presentation's date: 2013-02
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Volumetric behavior of unsaturated-reconstituted soils

     Burton, G. J.; Sheng, Daichao; Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar
    Pan-American Conference on Unsaturated Soils
    Presentation's date: 2013-02
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    The vast majority of unsaturated soil research is completed on compacted soils. Due to ease of laboratory testing, specimens are typically prepared dry of optimum and often with high void ratios (low dry density) to capture the phenomena of collapse. Compacted soils have significant impacts on infrastructure, but the inherent effects of structure within each sample are difficult to differentiate from the effects of suction (and degree of saturation) in the laboratory. Although significant advances have been made with techniques such as MIP and ESEM. The difficulties of producing and unsaturated sample from slurry have largely limited the amount of published literature on samples reconstituted from slurry. In this paper, the available published data sets of Jennings and Burland (1962), Vicol (1990) and Cunningham (2000) are reviewed. Predictions of the volume change behavior are then made

    The vast majority of unsaturated soil research is completed on compacted soils. Due to ease of laboratory testing, specimens are typically prepared dry of optimum and often with high void ratios (low dry density) to capture the phenomena of collapse. Compacted soils have significant impacts on infrastructure, but the inherent effects of structure within each sample are difficult to differentiate from the effects of suction (and degree of saturation) in the laboratory. Although significant advances have been made with techniques such as MIP and ESEM. The difficulties of producing and unsaturated sample from slurry have largely limited the amount of published literature on samples reconstituted from slurry. In this paper, the available published data sets of Jennings and Burland (1962), Vicol (1990) and Cunningham (2000) are reviewed. Predictions of the volume change behavior are then made.

  • Coupled thermo-hydraulic pulse tests on two reference Belgian clay formations

     Lima Amorim, Analice França; Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; Gens Sole, Antonio; Vaunat, Jean; Li, X.L.
    International Symposium on Coupled Phenomena in Environmental Geotechnics
    Presentation's date: 2013-07
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Boom and Ypresian clays are being studied in Belgium in connection with the design of a repository for radioactive waste. Within this context, thermal impact may play an important role on the behaviour of these low-permeability clays. To evaluate this impact, heating pulse tests on intact borehole samples were carried out using an axi-symmetric and constant volume heating cell with controlled hydraulic boundary conditions. Attention is focused on the time evolution of temperature and pore water pressure changes along heating and cooling paths -i.e., pore pressure build-up during quasi-undrained heating and later dissipation to the applied hydraulic boundary conditions. A coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical finite element program was used in a first stage to determine thermal parameters by back-analysis and then to simulate selected experimental results on Boom clay

    Boom and Ypresian clays are being studied in Belgium in connection with the design of a repository for radioactive waste. Within this context, thermal impact may play an important role on the behaviour of these low-permeability clays. To evaluate this impact, heating pulse tests on intact borehole samples were carried out using an axi-symmetric and constant volume heating cell with controlled hydraulic boundary conditions. Attention is focused on the time evolution of temperature and pore water pressure changes along heating and cooling paths -i.e., pore pressure build-up during quasi-undrained heating and later dissipation to the applied hydraulic boundary conditions. A coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical finite element program was used in a first stage to determine thermal parameters by back-analysis and then to simulate selected experimental results on Boom clay

  • Modeling the coupled chemo-hydro-mechanical behavior of compacted active clays

     Musso, Guido; Della Vecchia, G.; Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar
    International Symposium on Coupled Phenomena in Environmental Geotechnics
    Presentation's date: 2013-07
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Engineering clay barriers are one of the main solutions considered for the containment of waste, both within the context of landfills and, in perspective of longer operational times, of nuclear waste disposal. Modeling the performance of these barriers in the long term can be difficult, since the behavior of active clays highly depends on variables such as temperature, degree of saturation and suction, and chemistry of the wetting fluid.This paper deals with the effects of chemical changes. Based on microstructural evidence, a double structure model for coupled chemo-hydro mechanical processes is formulated. The model is then used to reproduce a salt transport test run in oedometer conditions. Some implications of the proposed double porosity approach are highlighted and discussed. The frame has the advantage of being based on direct microstructural evidence and of allowing for joint interpretation of hydro and mechanical changes. The frame also shares characteristics with models used to reproduce the behavior of clays in unsaturated conditions, so making it appealing for its implementation within a wider context.

    Engineering clay barriers are one of the main solutions considered for the containment of waste, both within the context of landfills and, in perspective of longer operational times, of nuclear waste disposal. Modeling the performance of these barriers in the long term can be difficult, since the behavior of active clays highly depends on variables such as temperature, degree of saturation and suction, and chemistry of the wetting fluid.This paper deals with the effects of chemical changes. Based on microstructural evidence, a double structure model for coupled chemo-hydro mechanical processes is formulated. The model is then used to reproduce a salt transport test run in oedometer conditions. Some implications of the proposed double porosity approach are highlighted and discussed. The frame has the advantage of being based on direct microstructural evidence and of allowing for joint interpretation of hydro and mechanical changes. The frame also shares characteristics with models used to reproduce the behavior of clays in unsaturated conditions, so making it appealing for its implementation within a wider context.

  • A practical method for suction estimation in unsaturated soil testing

     Amaral, Miguel F.; Viana da Fonseca, A.; Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; Arroyo Alvarez de Toledo, Marcos
    Pan-American Conference on Unsaturated Soils
    Presentation's date: 2013-02
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    This research presents an alternative methodology to estimate suction in triaxial tests carried out under constant water content. A preliminary determination of the retention curve is proposed using two complementary techniques, namely psychrometer measurements and mercury intrusion porosimetry results. Starting with the definition of a set of retention curves at different void ratios, an attempt is made for establishing a correspondence of the measured retention curves with the results of a high pressure isotropic compression test. From the stress-paths followed in a soil-cement specimen during isotropic compression, plotted in the void ratio-stress plane, the suction is interpolated by using the previously measured values and the evolution law describing suction as a function of the specimen's void ratio. For the aforementioned paths, the suction for all stress state points is estimated, including for the apparent yield pressure

    This research presents an alternative methodology to estimate suction in triaxial tests carried out under constant water content. A preliminary determination of the retention curve is proposed using two complementary techniques, namely psychrometer measurements and mercury intrusion porosimetry results. Starting with the definition of a set of retention curves at different void ratios, an attempt is made for establishing a correspondence of the measured retention curves with the results of a high pressure isotropic compression test. From the stress-paths followed in a soil-cement specimen during isotropic compression, plotted in the void ratio-stress plane, the suction is interpolated by using the previously measured values and the evolution law describing suction as a function of the specimen’s void ratio. For the aforementioned paths, the suction for all stress state points is estimated, including for the apparent yield pressure.

  • Effect of loading and suction history on time dependent deformation of coarse crushed slate

     Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; Alvarado, Clara; Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo
    Pan-American Conference on Unsaturated Soils
    Presentation's date: 2013-02
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    The paper presents the results of an experimental investigation aimed at evaluating the time-dependent compressibility of coarse crushed quartzitic slate, focusing on the effects of the previous loading and hydraulic history. Long-term and large diameter compression tests under oedometer conditions were performed at different total suctions (relative humidity values) and vertical stresses but following different loading and hydraulic paths. A finding, which has practical implications in earthwork constructions, is that pre-compressing at increasing overconsolidation ratios or pre-soaking the crushed material at constant and elevated stresses leads to the progressive vanishing of long-term deformations. 2013 Taylor Francis Group, London.

    The paper presents the results of an experimental investigation aimed at evaluating the time-dependent compressibility of coarse crushed quartzitic slate, focusing on the effects of the previ- ous loading and hydraulic history. Long-term and large diameter compression tests under oedometer conditions were performed at different total suctions (relative humidity values) and vertical stresses but following different loading and hydraulic paths. A finding, which has practical implications in earthwork constructions, is that pre-compressing at increasing overconsolidation ratios or pre-soaking the crushed material at constant and elevated stresses leads to the progressive vanishing of long-term deformations.

  • Study of desiccation cracks in soils using a 2D laser scanner

     Sanchez, Marcelo; Atique, Alvis; Kim, Sewon; Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; Zielinski, M.
    Geo-Congress
    Presentation's date: 2013
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    In recent years the study of desiccation cracks in soils has receiving increasing attention, in both experimental research and numerical modeling. However, it is still difficult to capture the actual geometry of the crack network typically developed in soils during drying. A 2D laser profile scanner is used in this research to overcome this problem. The study focuses on a natural soil from Indonesia. Soil samples were prepared in a circular plate and subjected to drying under controlled conditions in the laboratory. The digital model of the soil obtained from the laser has been post-processed with the commercial software Surfer. A 3D representation of the cracked soil is obtained by mean of this technique. An additional advantage of the proposed technique is that the laser also allows a reliable estimation of key variables related to drying soils, such as volume change, crack geometry, cracks depth and aperture.

  • Determination of the thermal parameters of a clay from heating cell tests

     Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; Lima Amorim, Analice França; Gens Sole, Antonio; Vaunat, Jean; Li, X. L.
    International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering
    Presentation's date: 2013-09
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Boom Clay is being studied in Belgium in connection with the design of a repository for radioactive waste. Within this context, thermal impact may play an important role on the behaviour of this low-permeability clay. To evaluate this impact, heating pulse tests on intact borehole samples were carried out using an axi-symmetric and constant volume heating cell with controlled hydraulic boundary conditions. Attention is focused on the time evolution of temperature and pore water pressure changes along heating and cooling paths ¿i.e., pore pressure build-up during quasi-undrained heating and later dissipation to the applied hydraulic boundary conditions¿. A coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical finite element program was used in a first stage to determine thermal parameters by back-analysis and then to simulate the experimental results.

  • Modelling the coupled chemo-hydro-mechanical behavior of structured active clays on basis of quantitative microstructural information

     Musso, Guido; Della Vecchia, G.; Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar
    Biot Conference on Poromechanics
    Presentation's date: 2013-07
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Because of their mineralogy, active clays are very sensitive to changes in the type and concentration of species dissolved in the pore water. At a molecular level, this sensitivity can be explained by variations in the short range interaction forces acting between clay platelets immersed in the pore water. While models based on equilibrium of short range interaction forces can be used to predict the volumetric behavior of dilute clay suspensions, different approaches must be invoked for real soils. Natural and compacted soils react differently from dilute suspensions to chemical changes because of their fabric. It is therefore not possible to derive reliable relationships (at least from the quantitative point of view) describing the chemo-mechanical behavior of active soils solely on basis of mineralogical and chemical properties. Both microscopic experimental evidences and modeling approaches are here used to analyze the effects imparted by fabric on the coupled hydro-chemo-mechanical behavior of an active clay soil.

  • Coupled geomechanical phenomena in the two-phase flow analysis of air-injection tests in clay cores

     Senger, Rainer; Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar
    International Workshop on Geomechanics and Energy
    Presentation's date: 2013-11
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Understanding gas transport processes is one of the key issues in the assessment of radioactive waste repository performance. The actual gas migration mechanisms may entail standard two-phase flow or more complex mechanisms involving coupled two-phase geomechanical and possibly geochemical phenomena. Laboratory tests on OPA cores from a shallow borehole in the Mont Terri Underground Research Laboratory (URL) and from a deep borehole in northern Switzerland were performed by two different laboratories, which include retention behavior and geomechanical tests, as well as specific water and air injection tests to determine single-phase liquid and two-phase properties. For the investigation of the laboratory measurements, numerical models were developed implementing the geometry of the rock core and the boundary conditions on the injection and outflow sides. The specific information from the laboratory experiments in terms of the stress dependence of void ratios and changes in permeability and capillary pressure were implemented in the numerical model, which reproduced well the measured injection pressure and outflow responses of both air injection tests parallel and normal to bedding.

  • A microstructural model on the link between change in pore size distribution and wetting induced deformation in a compacted silt

     Casini, Francesca; Vaunat, Jean; Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar
    Biot Conference on Poromechanics
    Presentation's date: 2013-07
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    The water retention curve expressed in terms of water content or degree of saturation and suction is hysteretic, stress path dependent (on void ratio), and depends on pore network. To properly describe its evolving nature, a multimodal retention model is proposed by considering a linear superposition of two subcurves of the Van Genuchten type. The model is constructed based on PSDs obtained with Mercury Intrusion Porosimetry (MIP) data at specified initial state, and thus, is representative of this initial pore network configuration. Based on the WRC model proposed above, the evolution of parameter ¿ will be evaluated based on the microstructural evolution of the pore network. The model is validated based on a series of oedometer samples performed at constant water content and then saturated at different initial void ratio and the same water content.

  • Microstructural evaluation of the water sensitivity of clayey rocks

     Pineda Jimenez, Jubert Andrés; Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; Tarrago, Dani; Tauler Ferré, Esperança; Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo
    Biot Conference on Poromechanics
    Presentation's date: 2013-07
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    The paper presents both macroscopic and microstructural evidence of the water sensitivity of a low porosity clayey rock from Northern Spain. Particular emphasis is focused on the effects of water sensitivity at micro level. Results obtained from Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy (ESEM) using the common procedure of sample preparation show that this procedure of sample preparation is not enough to evaluate in a proper way the irreversible changes induced at micro level by hydraulic effects. An alternative procedure is described, which seems to improve the evaluation of rock degradation at micro scale.

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    Rotura plana diferida de un desmonte en pizarras paleozoica  Open access

     Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Tarrago, Dani; Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar
    Simposio Nacional sobre Taludes y Laderas Inestables
    Presentation's date: 2013-06
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Durante la ejecución de la excavación de los desmontes para la construcción de una nueva biblioteca pública de la zona norte de Barcelona, se produjo una rotura en el macizo rocoso excavado: una pizarra paleozoica fuertemente tectonizada. En el artículo se destaca la escasa seguridad de la excavación frente a roturas planas a favor de los planos de foliación de la pizarra. Se presentan resultados de ensayos de corte sobre estos planos y su relleno de arcillas plásticas. Se discuten también las causas que provocaron la rotura diferida del talud, a pesar de que su baja seguridad calculada haría suponer una rotura inmediata. Se han descrito dos mecanismos posibles: la contribución de la succión a incrementar los parámetros de resistencia al corte de juntas y la generación de presiones intersticiales negativas durante la excavación. En relación con el primer mecanismo se presentan resultados experimentales recientes.

    En Junio de 2013 tiene lugar en Palma de Mallorca el VIII Simposio Nacional sobre Taludes y Laderas Inestables. Este Simposio se ha consolidado como un foro independiente, abierto y pluridisciplinar, con el objeto de difundir los conocimientos entre los miembros de las comunidades técnica y académica, entre los investigadores, presentar los avances recientes y fomentar la discusión entre técnicos y científicos que trabajan en este apasionante campo. En los últimos años, especialmente desde finales de 2008, se han producido en la Isla de Mallorca diversos desprendimientos y deslizamientos que han llamado poderosamente la atención por su número y dimensiones. El debate sobre la causa de esta anómala concentración de eventos, incluyendo la influencia del cambio climático, sigue abierto a día de hoy. La edición 2013 es una excelente oportunidad para conocer de primera mano los detalles de estos eventos, los reconocimientos y soluciones adoptadas, así como las enseñanzas extraídas. Como en anteriores ocasiones, el Simposio tiene además por objetivo la presentación y discusión de los progresos realizados en los diversos ámbitos temáticos.

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    Análisis de procesos termo-hidro-mecánicos en deslizamientos rápidos en un nuevo equipo de corte anular rápido  Open access

     Serri, Victor; Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; Lloret Morancho, Antonio; Suriol Castellvi, Jose; Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo
    Simposio Nacional sobre Taludes y Laderas Inestables
    Presentation's date: 2013-06
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Se ha desarrollado un nuevo corte anular para estudiar deslizamientos rápidos donde se induzca calentamiento por fricción. La generación de presiones intersticiales en la banda de corte calentada por el trabajo friccional del movimiento se ha aceptado como una explicación para las velocidades alcanzadas en deslizamientos rápidos. La falta de datos experimentales ha sido un inconveniente para analizar estos procesos acoplados. El prototipo, que incorpora un control electrónico del par impuesto y de la velocidad, puede alcanzar velocidades de deslizamiento elevadas (hasta 30 km/h) bajo tensiones vertical es relativamente grandes (hasta 3MPa). El diseño del prototipo y la selección de los transductores requieren de modelaciones numéricas previas para predecir la magnitud de las variables a medir. Esta publicación presenta una formulación acoplada, su solución numérica con una geometría simplificada para el equipo y los resultados obtenidos para la modelación de la presión de poros, temperatura y fuerza de corte.

    En Junio de 2013 tiene lugar en Palma de Mallorca el VIII Simposio Nacional sobre Taludes y Laderas Inestables. Este Simposio se ha consolidado como un foro independiente, abierto y pluridisciplinar, con el objeto de difundir los conocimientos entre los miembros de las comunidades técnica y académica, entre los investigadores, presentar los avances recientes y fomentar la discusión entre técnicos y científicos que trabajan en este apasionante campo. En los últimos años, especialmente desde finales de 2008, se han producido en la Isla de Mallorca diversos desprendimientos y deslizamientos que han llamado poderosamente la atención por su número y dimensiones. El debate sobre la causa de esta anómala concentración de eventos, incluyendo la influencia del cambio climático, sigue abierto a día de hoy. La edición 2013 es una excelente oportunidad para conocer de primera mano los detalles de estos eventos, los reconocimientos y soluciones adoptadas, así como las enseñanzas extraídas. Como en anteriores ocasiones, el Simposio tiene además por objetivo la presentación y discusión de los progresos realizados en los diversos ámbitos temáticos.

  • Thermo-hydro-mechanical analysis of rapid sliding process in a new and fast ring shear prototype

     Serri, Victor; Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; Lloret Morancho, Antonio; Suriol Castellvi, Jose; Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo
    International Conference on Landslides' Risk
    Presentation's date: 2013-03
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    A new experimental apparatus -emulating the annular shape of the ring shear- has been designed and developed at the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya to study fast sliding processes promoted by heat induced friction. This mechanism, which involves pore water pressu regeneration and dissipation in the shear band being heated by the frictional work of the sliding motion, has been an accepted explanation for the high velocity reached in the case of Vajont landslide. Nevertheless, lack of in situ and experimental information has become one of the main drawbacks when trying to explain these coupled processes . The prototype, which incorporates electronic control of torque and speed to emulate force and displacement control conditions, can reach high velocity along the sliding surface (up to 30 km/h and of the order of magnitude of the Vajont case) under relatively high total vertical stresses (up to 3 MPa). The design of this complex prototype and the selection of transducers require the use of simulation-aided techniq ues to help with the interpretation of these coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical processes. The paper presents the coupled formulation, the numerical solution adopted and the simplified geometry used for the equipment, as well as selected results of the pore pressure, temperature and shear strength evolutions along the sliding surface of a synthetic fast sliding test. These results are used to better know the location, range, sensitivity and fast response required for the temperature and pore pressure transducers, which are located close to the sliding surface.

  • Double-structure effects on the chemo-hydro-mechanical behaviour of a compacted active clay

     Musso, Guido; Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; Della Vecchia, G.
    Géotechnique
    Date of publication: 2013-03
    Journal article

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  • A microstructural insight into compacted clayey soils and their hydraulic properties

     Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar
    Engineering geology
    Date of publication: 2013-10
    Journal article

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    A review of the literature is initially presented to bring into light the important microstructural effects on the hydraulic properties of different compacted clayey soils. Experimental data coming from microstructural and macroscopic studies on different compacted clayey soils with dominant multi-modal pore size distribution are analysed to provide a comprehensive picture of different phenomenological features of hydraulic soil behaviour. The data come from clayey soils compacted on the dry side (i.e., with an intrinsic and permanent aggregated structure) or alternatively with dominant coarse fraction (i.e., sand¿bentonite mixture with shielding skeleton and well-developed inter-grain porosity), which undergo important microstructural changes on wetting and drying. A microstructural model, already developed to take into account microstructural aspects on water retention curves, is used to plot in the Proctor plane the microstructure set up by compaction and its evolution along hydraulic paths. The model is also used to explain the evolution of hydraulic properties (water and air permeability, water retention) along wetting and drying paths on an artificially prepared mixture of sand and bentonite with dominant granular fraction. The bentonite strongly reacts to changes in water content and allows studying the transition from a granular soil with large pores between sand grains to a low-permeability material on wetting. The key point of this simple model is the introduction of the dependence of the microvoid volume (admitting saturated aggregates) on water content, following an equivalent behavioural response to the macroscopic shrinkage curve.

  • Thermo-hydro-mechanical analysis for the simulation of rapid sliding process in a new and fast ring shear prototype

     Serri, Victor; Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; Lloret Morancho, Antonio; Suriol Castellvi, Jose; Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo
    Italian Journal of Engineering Geology and Environment
    Date of publication: 2013
    Journal article

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    Vajont was a case of an extremely fast landslide and efforts to clarify the failure have been mainly concentrated in providing a consistent explanation taking into account this characteristic feature. Particularly in the case of Vajont landslide, attention has been essentially focused on the shearing properties of the sliding surface. An accepted explanation for the velocity reached is the thermo-hydraulic-mechanical coupling under saturated conditions, which induces thermal dilation and effective stress reduction due to pore pressure build-up. Nevertheless, lack of in situ and experimental information has become one of the main drawbacks when trying to explain these coupled processes. In situ information is difficult to obtain since temperature and pore pressure development during these fast processes are impossible of being measured. To overcome this limitation, a new fast sliding prototype -emulating a ring shear apparatus- has been recently developed at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (Spain). This prototype can reach relatively high speeds along the sliding surface (up to 30 km/h) under relatively high total vertical stresses (up to 3 MPa). Temperature and pore pressure changes can be locally measured with miniature transducers located close to the shear band. The design of this complex prototype requires the use of simulation-aided techniques, to help with the interpretation of the coupled processes, as well as to estimate the maximum temperature and pore pressure changes. A thermo-hydro-mechanical formulation, applied to the ring shear test, is proposed in the paper to study pore water pressure build up and dissipation in a sliding surface being heated by the frictional work induced by the motion. Particularly, the proposed model is applied to simulate the evolution of the shear strength along the sliding surface during a fast sliding process.

  • Effect of loading and suction history on time dependent deformation of crushed granular aggregates

     Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; Alvarado de Menéndez, Clara; Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo
    Springer Series in Geomechanics and Geoengineering
    Date of publication: 2013
    Journal article

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    The paper presents the results of an experimental investigation aimed at evaluating the time-dependent compressibility of a coarse crushed quartzitic slate, focusing on the effects of the previous loading and hydraulic history. Long-term and large diameter compression tests under oedometer conditions were performed at different relative humidity (total suctions) and vertical stresses but following different loading and hydraulic paths. A finding is that pre-compressing at increasing overconsolidation ratios or pre-soaking the crushed material at constant and elevated stresses leads to the progressive vanishing of long-term deformations.

  • Exploring desiccation cracks in soils using a 2D profile laser device

     Sánchez, Marcelo; Atique, Alvis; Kim, Sewon; Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; Zielinski, M.
    Acta geotechnica (Berlin)
    Date of publication: 2013-12
    Journal article

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    The study of desiccation cracks in soils has been a subject of increasing attention in recent research. This paper presents the use of a 2D profile laser that is coupled with a motion controller (that allows scanning the overall surface of a drying soil) and electronic balance (to measure the water loss). The aim is to accurately track the three most relevant variables associated with the behavior of soils during desiccation: volume change, water loss and evolving crack network¿s morphology. The paper presents the methodology to obtain a digital model of the soil using the experimental setup described above. The main results of a natural soil subjected to drying are presented and discussed, including evolution of cracks aperture; evolution of cracks depth, surface contour levels (at different times); and evolution of volume change. It is shown that the proposed methodology provides very useful information for studying the behavior of soils subjected to desiccation.

  • Environmental degradation of claystones

     Pineda Jimenez, Jubert Andrés; Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar
    Géotechnique
    Date of publication: 2013-11
    Journal article

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    The paper presents the results of a comprehensive experimental programme carried out to study the effects of relative humidity cycling on the degradation of argillaceous rocks. Lilla claystone, a low-porosity Tertiary rock, was used for this purpose. Four aspects were analysed: (a) the influence of the number of relative humidity cycles; (b) the amplitude of relative humidity cycles; (c) the stress level; and (d) the effects of using liquid water or vapour during wetting paths. The application of relative humidity cycles induced a progressive degradation of the rock in terms of accumulative irreversible volumetric swelling, irreversible reduction in rock stiffness, and tensile strength. The irreversible expansion increased with the amplitude of the relative humidity change. However, it reduced with increase of the confining pressure. This irreversible behaviour accelerated when liquid water was used during the wetting paths. Microstructural analysis has shown that the degradation pattern of Lilla claystone was associated mainly with fissuring, as a consequence of non-uniform deformations of the clayey matrix. This phenomenon leads to the opening of fissures at the weaker interfaces of the clayey matrix with detrital, non-active minerals. A damage law derived in terms of the accumulated volumetric irreversible strain has been proposed to represent the progressive loss in volumetric and shear stiffness as well as the tensile strength.

  • A fully coupled elastic¿plastic hydromechanical model for compacted soils accounting for clay activity

     Della Vecchia, G.; Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; Jommi, Cristina
    International journal for numerical and analytical methods in geomechanics
    Date of publication: 2013-04
    Journal article

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    A constitutive model, accounting for multiphase and multiscale coupling, is proposed for the water retention domain and the stress–strain response of compacted clayey soils. The model is based on a conceptual interpretation of the microfabric evolution of compacted soils along generalised hydromechanical paths, detected by means of mercury intrusion porosimeter tests. Multiphase coupling is provided by the mutual interaction between the mechanical and the hydraulic states. Multiscale coupling is introduced by a measure of the size of the aggregates, which influences both the retention and the stress–strain response, in the phenomenological constitutive equations. Model capabilities are verified by comparison with relevant experimental data from laboratory tests on compacted Boom clay and other selected experimental data on different compacted clayey soils.

  • Consequences on water retention properties of double-porosity features in a compacted silt

     Casini, Francesca; Vaunat, Jean; Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; Desideri, Augusto
    Acta geotechnica (Berlin)
    Date of publication: 2012-06
    Journal article

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    Experimental techniques for multi-scale description of soil fabric and its dual pore network  Open access

     Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; Musso, Guido; Jommi, Cristina
    Date of publication: 2012-10
    Book chapter

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    Fabric affects many aspects of soil mechanical behaviour. When transport processes are of concern, its dual, the pore network, is the key aspect ruling the soil properties of interest. In this chapter, a review of a few widely used techniques, currently adopted to analyse the pore network at increasing scale, is presented, namely mercury intrusion porosimetry, environmental scanning electron microscopy and electrical resistivity tomography. Details on the techniques, their advantages and limitations, are first covered, followed by the presentation of selected test results. The results highlight how these techniques provide an insight into the pore network, and how they can be usefully exploited in the understanding of different hydro-electromechanical processes ordinarily observed at the phenomenological scale. Attention is focused on unsaturated soils with reference to water retention properties, micro / macrostructure interaction, and role of sample heterogeneity.

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    Physical models at increasing scale and role of theoretical / numerical back-analyses  Open access

     Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; Musso, Guido; Jommi, Cristina
    Date of publication: 2012-10
    Book chapter

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    Fabric affects many aspects of soil mechanical behaviour. When transport processes are of concern, its dual, the pore network, is the key aspect ruling the soil properties of interest. In this chapter, a review of a few widely used techniques, currently adopted to analyse the pore network at increasing scale, is presented, namely mercury intrusion porosimetry, environmental scanning electron microscopy and electrical resistivity tomography. Details on the techniques, their advantages and limitations, are first covered, followed by the presentation of selected test results. The results highlight how these techniques provide an insight into the pore network, and how they can be usefully exploited in the understanding of different hydro-electromechanical processes ordinarily observed at the phenomenological scale. Attention is focused on unsaturated soils with reference to water retention properties, micro / macrostructure interaction, and role of sample heterogeneity.

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    Experimental techniques for hydromechanical and electro-chemo-hydraulic processes  Open access

     Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; Musso, Guido; Jommi, Cristina
    Date of publication: 2012-10
    Book chapter

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    Fabric affects many aspects of soil mechanical behaviour. When transport processes are of concern, its dual, the pore network, is the key aspect ruling the soil properties of interest. In this chapter, a review of a few widely used techniques, currently adopted to analyse the pore network at increasing scale, is presented, namely mercury intrusion porosimetry, environmental scanning electron microscopy and electrical resistivity tomography. Details on the techniques, their advantages and limitations, are first covered, followed by the presentation of selected test results. The results highlight how these techniques provide an insight into the pore network, and how they can be usefully exploited in the understanding of different hydro-electromechanical processes ordinarily observed at the phenomenological scale. Attention is focused on unsaturated soils with reference to water retention properties, micro / macrostructure interaction, and role of sample heterogeneity.

  • Thermo-hydraulic behaviour of Boom clay using a heating cell: an experimental study

     Lima, A; Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; Gens Sole, Antonio; Li, X.L.; Vaunat, Jean
    International Workshop Advances in Multiphysical Testing of Soils and Shales
    Presentation's date: 2012-09
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Boom clay formation is a potential host rock for geological disposal of high-level nuclear waste in Belgium. Heating pulse tests with controlled power supply and controlled hydraulic boundary conditions were performed under constant volume conditions to study the hydraulic impact of thermal loading on the clay. Selected test result s of intact borehole samples retrieved in horizontal direction are presented a nd discussed. The study focuses on the time evolution of temperature and pore water pressure changes along heating and cooling paths, i.e. pore pressure build-up during quasi-undrained heating and later dissipation at constant temperature towards the applied hydraulic boundary condition.

  • Effect of loading history on time dependent deformation of rockfill

     Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Alvarado, Clara; Wacker, F
    European Conference on Unsaturated Soils
    Presentation's date: 2012-06
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    The paper explores the time-dependent compressibility of coarse crushed quartzitic slate, focusing on the effects of the previous loading history. Large diameter oedometer tests were performed at different relative humidity (or total suctions) and different overconsolidation ratios (OCR). Preliminary results suggested that pre-compressing the rockfill material at increasing OCRs lead to the progressive vanishing of rockfill delayed deformations.

  • Air tests on low-permeability claystone formations: experimental results and simulations

     Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; Senger, R.K.; Marschall, P; Gómez, R.
    International Workshop Advances in Multiphysical Testing of Soils and Shales
    Presentation's date: 2012-09
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    The paper presents the results of an experimental investigation aimed at characterising the water and air permeability properties of low-permeability claystone formations from a Mesozoic sequence in Northern Switzerland. The experiments, besides providing quantitative data to calibrate hydraulic and two-phase flow properties, intend to analyse the phenomena and processes, which control the percolation of air through an initially water saturated claystone. Fast controlled-volume rate air injection experiments were performed in a triaxial cell, testing a total of four rock samples under isotropic stress state conditions at different initial porosity and at two sample orientations (flow parallel and orthogonal to bedding planes). Simulation results showed a good agreement between the measured pressures at the injection and outflow sides of the sample using a standard two-phase flow simulation code.

  • Water retention properties of a compacted clayey silt including void ratio dependency and microstructural features

     Gómez, Rodrigo; Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; Della Cecchia, Gabriele; Jommi, Cristina; Suriol Castellvi, Jose; Lloret Morancho, Antonio
    European Conference on Unsaturated Soils
    Presentation's date: 2012-06
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    An experimental study focused on the water retention properties of a compacted clayey silt with dominant bimodal pore size distribution is reported. A water retention model accounting for soil microstructural features and void ratio is used to track the observed hydraulic behaviour. The model parameters were calibrated on the basis of drying and wetting data at a given dry density and the model predictions are verified along drying and wetting paths at different void ratios.

  • Air injection experiments on Opalinus clay: experimental techniques, results and analyses

     Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; Marschall, P
    EAGE Shale Workshop
    Presentation's date: 2012-01
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Effect of loading and suction history on time dependent deformation of crushed granular aggregates

     Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; Alvarado, Clara; Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo
    International Workshop Advances in Multiphysical Testing of Soils and Shales
    Presentation's date: 2012-09
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    The paper presents the results of an experimental investigation aimed at evaluating the time-dependent compressibility of a coarse crushed quartzitic slate, focusing on the effects of the previous loading and hydraulic history. Long-term and large diameter compression tests under oedometer conditions were performed at different relative humidity (total suctions) and vertical stresses but following different loading and hydraulic paths. A finding is that pre-compressing at increasing overconsolidation ratios or pre-soaking the crushed material at constant and elevated stresses leads to the progressive vanishing of long-term deformations.

  • Water retention properties of two deep belgian clay formations

     Lima, Analice; Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; Piña, Yesenia; Gens Sole, Antonio; Li, Xiangling
    European Conference on Unsaturated Soils
    Presentation's date: 2012-06
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Belgium investigates the design for disposal of its high-level radioactive waste in two deep clay formations: the Boom clay at Mol, considered the reference host formation, and Ypresian clay at Kallo that is the alternative one. High suctions develop as a consequence of sample retrieval, which affect the hydro-mechanical response of these materials. The water retention properties of both clays, covering a wide suction range and using different complementary techniques, are presented and discussed.

  • Effect of intermediate stress on collapse behaviour of a compacted clayey silt

     Cárdenas, Octavio; Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; Lloret Morancho, Antonio; Suriol Castellvi, Jose
    European Conference on Unsaturated Soils
    Presentation's date: 2012-06
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    There are few experimental results on the influence of the intermediate principal stress on the behaviour of unsaturated soils. Particularly, the effect of intermediate stress on the collapse response of a soil subjected to a suction reduction path has not been studied in depth. This paper describes soaking tests performed in a hollow cylinder device, in which specimens of a compacted clayey silt have been saturated under constant mean and deviatoric stresses but at different intermediate stresses. The descriptions of sample preparation, testing device characteristics, test procedures and interpretation methods are presented. Preliminary analyses of the results seem to indicate that collapse is larger when the intermediate stress coincides with the minor one, i.e. under conventional axi-symmetric triaxial stress state.

  • Radial stress paths in triaxial tests on compacted Boom clay: stiffness and anisotropy

     Della Vecchia, G.; Jommi, Cristina; Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar
    Asia-Pacific Conference on Unsaturated Soils
    Presentation's date: 2012-02
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Experimental results of triaxial tests performed on unsaturated soil samples of statically compacted Boom clay are presented. Boom clay samples we re subjected to radial stress paths at two different constant water contents: w= 15%, the as-compacted one, and w= 18%, achieved by vapour transfer technique from the as-compacted condition. The dependence of volumetric compliance on the stress ratio and on the water content is evidenced. The results of the experimental investigation are interpreted in terms of anisotropy of the mechanical response, as a consequence of the induced anisotropy during static compaction, and in terms of the dependence of the compressibility on the micro-fabric of the material. The intrinsic link between the phenomenological soil behaviour and the evolution of its fabric is evidenced, and a normalising variable to take it into account at the constitutive level is proposed.

  • Ageing effects on the stiffness behaviour of a microbiologically treated and compacted soil

     Morales Gámez, Laura Teresa; Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; Pineda Jimenez, Jubert Andrés; Garzón Garzón, Eduardo; Giménez, Antonio
    European Conference on Unsaturated Soils
    Presentation's date: 2012-06
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    The paper describes an experimental study aimed at evaluating the evolution of some mechanical properties, specifically small-strain stiffness and unconfined compressive strength, induced by ageing after a microbiological treatment on a compacted soil. Bacillaceae microorganisms were used to induce microbial calcium carbonate precipitation and improve the mechanical properties of a compacted clayey silt. After compaction, samples were left to age and soil stiffness tracked every 24 hours using shear wave velocity measurements (bender elements). Parallel tests were run to determine the unconfined compressive strength at different elapsed times (just after compaction, 2, 4 and 7 days).

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    Estudio de rellenos compactados utilizados en la construcción de ataguías en Indonesia  Open access

     Sanchez, Marcelo; El Mountassir, G.; Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar
    Revista Internacional de Desastres Naturales, Accidentes e Infraestructura Civil (Online)
    Date of publication: 2012
    Journal article

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  • Swelling and degradation of argillaceous rocks induced by relative humidity effects: an experimental study

     Pineda Jimenez, Jubert Andrés
    Defense's date: 2012-03-12
    Department of Geotechnical Engineering and Geo-Sciences, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
    Theses

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    ALERT Doctoral School 2012: advanced experimental techniques in geomechanics  Open access

    Date of publication: 2012-10
    Book

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    Fabric affects many aspects of soil mechanical behaviour. When transport processes are of concern, its dual, the pore network, is the key aspect ruling the soil properties of interest. In this chapter, a review of a few widely used techniques, currently adopted to analyse the pore network at increasing scale, is presented, namely mercury intrusion porosimetry, environmental scanning electron microscopy and electrical resistivity tomography. Details on the techniques, their advantages and limitations, are first covered, followed by the presentation of selected test results. The results highlight how these techniques provide an insight into the pore network, and how they can be usefully exploited in the understanding of different hydro-electromechanical processes ordinarily observed at the phenomenological scale. Attention is focused on unsaturated soils with reference to water retention properties, micro / macrostructure interaction, and role of sample heterogeneity.

  • Estudio de pistas Madrid Open 2013

     Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; Tarrago, Dani
    Date: 2012-08-04
    Report

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  • Presa de Valcuerna: anejo de ensayos sobre materiales del cuerpo del dique

     Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; Gómez, R.
    Date: 2012-07
    Report

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  • Thermo-hydro-mechanical behaviour of Ypresian clay: annual report 2011

     Lima, A.; Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; Piña, Y
    Date: 2012-04
    Report

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