Techno Press
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Geomechanics and Engineering   Volume 3, Number 2, June 2011, pages 131-151
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12989/gae.2011.3.2.131
 
Influencing factors on electrical conductivity of compacted kaolin clay
J.K. Lee and J.Q. Shang

 
Abstract     [Full Text]
    The electrical conductivity of a soil-water system is related to its engineering properties. By measuring the soil electrical conductivity, one may obtain quantitative, semi-quantitative, or qualitative information to estimate the in-situ soil behavior for site characterization. This paper presents the results of electrical conductivity measured on compacted kaolin clay samples using a circular two-electrode cell in conjunction with a specially designed compaction apparatus, which has the advantage of reducing errors due to sample handling and increasing measurement accuracy. The experimental results are analyzed to observe the effects of various parameters on soil electrical conductivity, i.e. porosity, unit weight, water content and pore water salinity. The performance of existing analytical models for predicting the electrical conductivity of saturated and unsaturated soils is evaluated by calculating empirical constants in these models. It is found that the Rhoades model gives the best fit for the kaolin clay investigated. Two general relationships between the formation factor and soil porosity are established based on the experimental data reported in the literature and measured from this study for saturated soils, which may provide insight for understanding electrical conduction characteristics of soils over a wide range of porosity.
 
Key Words
    compaction; electrical conductivity; formation factor; kaolin clay; salinity.
 
Address
J.K. Lee and J.Q. Shang: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario N6A 5B9, Canada
 

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