Laboratory Evaluation of Horizontal Stress in Overconsolidated Sands

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Courtesy of ASTM International

This paper describes a method for the determination of in situ horizontal stresses of heavily overconsolidated sands using a stress-path triaxial apparatus. This method was proposed by Garga and Khan (1991), who applied it to overconsolidated clays. The proposed method is based on the concept that if the radial stress exceeds the in situ horizontal stress while maintaining the axial stress constant and equal to the in situ vertical effective stress, only then will the specimen experience significant axial strain.

In this investigation, the above method was applied to specimens of known stress histories of overconsolidated sand. Simulation of complex stress histories was carried out by subjecting the soil specimens to one and two cycles of loading in drained conditions (rate of loading or unloading: 0.05 kPa/min). It was found that the proposed method replicated the simulated in situ horizontal stress exactly. The technique is capable of estimating K0 irrespective of the previously imposed stress history.

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