Experimental study on a partially saturated soil of a river embankment

C.G. Gragnano, M. Moscariello, S. Cuomo, Irene Rocchi, G. Gottardi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


River embankments are usually designed as earthen structures to retain hydrometric level fluctuations. Filling materials generally adopted are intermediate soils, consisting of natural silty soils with limited sand and clay content, compacted during construction process for both ensuring their mechanical stability and limiting the water flow through the embankment itself. The evaluation of time-dependent seepage and stability characteristics of riverbanks, which represents a crucial step for their vulnerability assessment, is strongly influenced by the unsaturated soil behaviour. Within this framework, a comprehensive experimental study has been carried out to explore the mechanical and retention properties of a river embankment silty soil under partially saturated conditions. Oedometric and direct shear suction-controlled tests have been carried out on soil sampled from a field instrumented riverbank section, where an extensive monitoring system with suction and water content measurements has been recently implemented. The results of laboratory investigations are presented and discussed. Comparisons with monitoring data and similar laboratory tests performed in saturated conditions are also provided, in order to highlight the importance of an accurate characterization of the unsaturated soil behaviour for a realistic estimate of the river embankments stability and for the relevant reliable safety assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the XVII ECSMGE-2019
PublisherThe Icelandic Geotechnical Society
Publication date2019
ISBN (Print)978-9935-9436-1-3
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventThe XVII European Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering - Reykjavik, Iceland
Duration: 1 Sept 20196 Sept 2019
Conference number: 17


ConferenceThe XVII European Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering


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