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Effect of pore fluid chemistry on the sedimentation and compression behavior of pure, endmember fines

July 23, 2018

The safety, effectiveness and longevity of many construction and geotechnical engineering projects rely on correctly accounting for the evolution of soil properties over time. Critical sediment properties, such as compressibility, can change in response to pore-fluid chemistry changes, particularly if the sediment contains appreciable concentrations of fine-grained materials. Pore-fluid changes act at the micro scale, altering interactions between sediment particles, or between sediment particles and the pore fluid. These micro-scale alterations change how sediment fabrics and void ratios develop, which directly impacts macro-scale properties such as sediment compressibility. The goal of this study is to correlate sediment compressibility, a macro-scale property, to the micro-scale pore-fluid chemistry effects and ultimately to the electrical sensitivity for each sediment. Such a correlation would allow compressibility behavior to be estimated from knowledge of the index properties and mineralogy profile for each sediment. The data in this release support the correlation effort by providing: 1) sedimentation results that provide insight into micro-scale sediment fabric and void ratio dependence on sediment/fluid interactions, and 2) consolidation results that quantify the macro-scale compressibility and recompressibility parameters for a suite of fine-grained sediments and differing pore fluids. The related journal publication (Jang and others, 2018) demonstrates how the macro-scale compressibility and recompressibility results from the consolidation tests are linked back, through the sediment fabric and void ratio data from the sedimentation tests, to the micro-scale impact of pore-fluid chemistry and sediment electrical sensitivity.