Water repellent soils: the case for unsaturated soil mechanics

Christopher Beckett*, Andy Fourie, David Toll

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Water repellent (or "hydrophobic" or "non-wetting") soils have been studied by soil scientists for well over a century. These soils are typified by poor water infiltration, which leads to increased soil erosion and poor crop growth. However, the importance of water repellence on determining soil properties is now becoming recognised by geotechnical engineers. Water repellent soils may, for example, offer novel solutions for the design of cover systems overlying municipal or mine waste storage facilities. However, investigations into factors affecting their mechanical properties have only recently been initiated. This purpose of this paper is to introduce geotechnical engineers to the concept of water repellent soils and to discuss how their properties can be evaluated under an unsaturated soils framework. Scenarios in which water repellent properties might be relevant in geotechnical applications are presented and methods to quantify these properties in the laboratory and in the field examined.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication3RD EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON UNSATURATED SOILS - E-UNSAT 2016
EditorsP Delage, YJ Cui, S Ghabezloo, JM Pereira, AM Tang
PublisherE D P SCIENCES
Number of pages6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event3rd European Conference on Unsaturated Soils (E-UNSAT) - Paris, France
Duration: 12 Sep 201614 Sep 2016

Publication series

NameE3S Web of Conferences
PublisherE D P SCIENCES
Volume9
ISSN (Print)2267-1242

Conference

Conference3rd European Conference on Unsaturated Soils (E-UNSAT)
Country/TerritoryFrance
CityParis
Period12/09/1614/09/16

Keywords

  • SHEAR-STRENGTH
  • WETTABILITY
  • PREDICTION
  • RETENTION
  • MODEL

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