UNDRAINED SHEAR STRENGTH PARAMETERS OF SAPROCK FROM A WEATHERING PROFILE OVER PORPHYRITIC BIOTITE GRANITE AT KM 31 OF THE KUALA LUMPUR - KARAK HIGHWAY, PENINSULAR MALAYSIA
Keywords:unconsolidated undrained triaxial tests; saprock; weathering profile over granite; apparent cohesion; friction angle.
AbstractThree broad zones can be differentiated at the weathering profile; an upper, 9.4 m thick, pedological soil (zone I), an intermediate, 31.7 m thick, saprock (zone II) and the bottom bedrock (zone III). The saprock (zone II) comprises gravelly silty sands that distinctly preserve the minerals, textures and structures of the original granite and can be separated into sub-zones II A, II B, II C, and II D, based on differences in preservation of relict structures and content of litho-relicts (core-boulders). To characterize the undrained strength of saprock, samples were collected from sub-zones II A, II B, II C and II D and their physical and soil index properties determined before unconsolidated undrained triaxial tests were carried out on remolded samples. Three to four individual samples from each sub-zone were compressed under confining pressures of 138 kPa, 207 kPa, 276 kPa and/or 345 kPa. Plots of pf = [(σ1 + σ3)/2] versus qf = [(σ1 - σ3)/2] were then used to calculate apparent cohesions of 41.9 kPa, 100.3 kPa, 76.1 kPa and 73.9 kPa, and friction angles of 32.2o, 28.1o, 26.6o and 27.8o, for the samples from sub-zones II A, II B, II C, and II D, respectively. Regression analyses show apparent cohesions to decrease with increasing clay contents, and degrees of saturation; features indicating the influence of negative pore water (or suction) pressures. Regression analyses also show apparent friction angle to increase with increasing sand contents; a feature attributed to greater inter-locking and resistance to displacement of these particles. It is concluded that the undrained shear strength parameters of saprock are characterized by an average apparent cohesion of 54.6 kPa, and friction angle of 30.5o; the parameters influenced by the degree of saturation as well as clay and sand contents.
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