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896

ARTICLE
Effect of sample disturbance on triaxial and oedometer
behaviour of a stiff and heavily overconsolidated clay

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Toralv Berre

Abstract: The tests in this investigation were performed on a natural soft clay with plasticity index around 32%, which was K0
consolidated to a vertical stress of 2942 kPa and then K0 unloaded to a vertical stress of 74 kPa (i.e., to the in situ stress). The
specimens so created were disturbed in various ways to study the effect of sample disturbance on the stressstrain relationships
during undrained shearing and during drained K0 loading (i.e., K0 triaxial and oedometer tests). The results for two testing
alternatives may be summarized as follows. Alternative 1: Allow the specimen to swell at the correct in situ effective stresses, but
accept an initial water content that is higher than the in situ value. This alternative was found to give the best stressstrain
relationships around the in situ effective stresses for undrained triaxial tests, but with undrained shear strength values up to
about 20% too low, due to the swelling taking place during consolidation to the in situ effective stresses. Alternative 2: Prevent
swelling by starting the test at effective stresses that are higher than the in situ stresses, but with a water content that is closer
to the in situ value than if alternative 1 is chosen. Using only isotropic stresses prior to shearing, this alternative was found to give
better undrained shear strength values (although up to about 14% too high) but strain values much too small around the in situ
effective stresses. For oedometer tests, only alternative 2 was investigated. Also, for these tests, the strains around the in situ
stress were too small, but preconsolidation stresses estimated from stressstrain curves were typically only around 60% of the
true value.
Key words: stiff clay, sample disturbance, undrained shear strength, preconsolidation stress, triaxial tests, oedometer tests.
Rsum : Les essais dans cette tude ont t raliss sur de largile molle naturelle avec un indice de plasticit denviron 32 %,
qui a t consolide en K0 a` une contrainte verticale de 2942 kPa et ensuite dcharge en K0 a` une contrainte verticale de 74 kPa
(cest-a`-dire la contrainte in situ ). Les chantillons ainsi crs ont t remanis de diffrentes faons pour tudier leffet du
remaniement des chantillons sur les relations contraintedformation durant le cisaillement non drain et durant le chargement en K0 drain (cest-a`-dire essais triaxiaux-K0 et domtriques). Les rsultats des deux alternatives dessai suivantes peuvent
tre rsums comme suit. Alternative 1 : Permet a` lchantillon de goner aux contraintes effectives in situ correctes, mais on
doit accepter une teneur en eau initiale qui est suprieure a` la valeur in situ. Cette alternative donne les meilleures relations
contraintedformation autour des contraintes effectives in situ pour les essais triaxiaux non drains, mais la rsistance au
cisaillement est trop faible denviron jusqua` 20 %, en raison du gonement qui se produit durant la consolidation aux contraintes effectives in situ. Alternative 2 : Empcher le gonement en commenant lessai a` des contraintes effectives suprieures
aux contraintes in situ, mais dune teneur en eau qui est plus prs de la valeur in situ qua` lalternative 1. Puisquelle applique les
contraintes isotropes seulement avant le cisaillement, cette alternative sest avre donner de meilleurs rsultats de rsistance
au cisaillement non drain (malgr des valeurs jusqua` environ 14 % trop leves), mais aussi des dformations trop faibles
prs des contraintes effectives in situ. Pour les essais domtriques, seulement lalternative 2 a t value. Pour ces essais, les
dformations prs de la contrainte in situ taient aussi trop faibles, mais les contraintes de prconsolidation estimes a` partir
des courbes de contraintedformation taient typiquement seulement a` 60 % de la valeur relle. [Traduit par la Rdaction]
Mots-cls : argile rigide, remaniement des chantillons, rsistance au cisaillement non drain, contrainte de prconsolidation,
essais triaxiaux, essais domtriques.

Introduction
Reconsolidation of strongly disturbed, stiff, and very overconsolidated clay specimens to the in situ effective stresses in connection with triaxial tests sometimes ends up with swelling of the
specimens. If swelling is prevented by increasing the stresses,
these stresses may be signicantly higher than the in situ effective stresses. The main purpose of this investigation is to try to
gain a better understanding of how such materials should be
reconsolidated to the in situ effective stresses, i.e., should correct
stresses or correct water content be given priority.
To investigate this, soft clay samples from the Troll eld were K0
consolidated rst in a large oedometer cell up to 1000 kPa, and

then in triaxial cells up to 2942 kPa and nally K0 unloaded to


74 kPa, i.e., to an overconsolidation ratio (OCR) of 40 and a K0
value of 2.64. Most of the specimens were then dismounted from
the triaxial cell, given various amounts of disturbance and reconsolidated in different ways before being loaded, undrained in triaxial cells or drained under K0 conditions in triaxial cells and (or)
in oedometer cells.

Material tested
The material used for the tests reported here comes from the
Troll eld in the North Sea, through projects which NGI (Oslo,
Norway) has had for Statoil (Stavanger, Norway).

Received 25 February 2013. Accepted 4 March 2014.


T. Berre. Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI), Sognsveien 72, P.O. Box 3930 Ullevaal Stadion, 0806 Oslo, Norway.
E-mail for correspondence: toralv.berre@ngi.no.
Can. Geotech. J. 51: 896910 (2014) dx.doi.org/10.1139/cgj-2013-0077

Published at www.nrcresearchpress.com/cgj on 16 June 2014.

16
15
14
13
12
11
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
2
1

r (%)

Col. No.

Note: Water content values in parentheses are values obtained from neighbor specimens only.

0.80
2.93
1.54
2.18
3.90
8.97
3.29
0.75
5.98
1.92

vol (%)
a (%)

1.61
2.47
2.46
2.87
3.73
10.78
3.44
1.24
4.78
4.09
195.3
195.2
195.5
195.4
195.3
1765
195.4
195.4
195.4
195.4
74.0
73.7
74.2
73.7
73.5
2941
73.6
73.7
73.5
73.6
0.56
0.12
0.62
0.65
0.68
1.01
0.50
0.81
0.26
0.78
8.56
9.51
9.85
9.76
9.74
8.97
9.76
7.72
10.76
9.89
9.57
9.72
10.95
10.92
10.96
10.78
10.66
9.18
11.23
11.28
1765
1765
1765
1765
1765
1765
1765
1765
1765
1765
2942
2940
2941
2941
2943
2941
2942
2941
2942
2942
35.9
50.5
36.2
50.6
50.0
35.6
51.0
35.7
51.6
36.2
27.37
(27.37)
28.57
(28.57)
(28.57)
27.73
26.86
27.32
28.10
28.23
5.03
5.03
4.55
4.55
4.55
4.55
4.70
4.70
4.70
4.70
1B
1C
2B
2C
2D
2E
3B
3C
3D
3E
1
1
2
2
2
2
3
3
3
3
6
6
6
6
6
6

G
G
C
C
C
E

r (kPa)
a (kPa)

At end of K0 unloading

r (%)
vol (%)
a (%)

r (kPa)
a (kPa)
Diameter (mm)
w (%)

DWS 208
DWS 208
DWS 204
DWS 204
DWS 204
DWS 204
DWS 202A
DWS 202A
DWS 202A
DWS 202A

Totally undisturbed specimens, undrained and K0 triaxial


tests
Specimens 1B, 2B, 2E, and 3C were not disturbed in any way.
They were not even dismounted from the triaxial cell. Specimen
2E was, after K0 consolidation to 2941 kPa, sheared at constant
volume, i.e., a CK0CV test at OCR = 1. (CK0CV is a triaxial test with
K0 consolidation prior to shearing at constant volume (shearing at
constant volume gives the same result as undrained shearing
when B = 100%).) The purpose of this test was to determine the
undrained shear strength at OCR = 1 for the stress history and
normalized soil engineering properties (SHANSEP) equation.

Part

Preparation of test specimens


The Troll samples were mounted into a large oedometer cell, and
the vertical stress was increased to 1000 kPa. After dismounting the
samples from this oedometer cell, the water contents were between
27% and 28%, and the liquidity indexes between 0.11 and 0.17.
The large oedometer samples were then divided into smaller
pieces, which all were trimmed to triaxial test specimens with initial
diameters of about 50 or about 38 mm. The specimens were K0
loaded (i.e., loaded so that no radial strain could take place) up to an
axial effective stress, a, equal to 2942 kPa, then K0 unloaded to a =
74 kPa, i.e., to an overconsolidation ratio, OCR, equal to 40, see
Table 2.
The K0 values used for this K0 loading were determined on a specimen from large oedometer sample No. 1 in a triaxial cell equipped
for automatic K0 loading and direct measurement of radial strain as
described by Berre (2011), except that the radial strain was measured
outside the conning rubber membrane. The measurements were
corrected for change in thickness of the membrane during the test.
In this test, i.e., the initial K0 test, the stresses were increased continuously in such a way that the cross-sectional area of the specimen,
according to the directly measured radial strains, was kept constant.
All other tests (except for test 3C) were performed in soil mechanics
cells where the stresses were increased in small steps, in such a way
that the same stress path, on the average, was followed as found by
this initial K0 test. The data for this test are not included in this paper;
however, strain values (all from external sensors) are very close to
those for tests 1B and 1C in Table 2, especially at the maximum
consolidation stresses.
Following this procedure, nine specimens with OCR equal to 40
and water contents close to the plastic limit were created. Key
data for these specimens are given in Table 2. The further testing
procedures are described in the following ve subsections.

Tube

Testing procedures

Boring No.

The samples come from depths varying from 4.5 to 5.1 m. The
index data were as given in Table 1.

Depth
(m)

2.76
60
13

Specimen
No.

5364
1113
1.72.5
5157
2224
3034
1.1
27

Large oedometer
sample No.

Water content (%)


Fall cone strength, undisturbed (kPa)
Fall cone strength, remoulded (kPa)
Liquid limit (%)
Plastic limit (%)
Plasticity index (%)
Liquidity index
Salt content of pore water (i.e., equivalent
amount of NaCl) (g/L)
Density of solid particles (g/cm3)
Content of clay particles (i.e., % <0.002 mm) (%)
Content of smectite in clay fraction
(Lunne et al. 2007) (%)

At maximum stresses during


K0 loading

Value

At start of K0 loading
in triaxial cell

Parameter

Table 2. Data from K0 loading of specimens that have been used to investigate effects of sample disturbance on triaxial and oedometer tests.

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Table 1. Index data for clay from Troll eld in the North Sea
used in this investigation.

17

897

0.41
+0.24
0.47
0.36
+0.08
1.01
0.07
1.00
0.64
1.12

Berre

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898

For specimens 1B and 2B, a back pressure of 980 kPa was applied
and both specimens were sheared undrained in compression at a
rate of axial strain of about 2.4%/h.
For specimen 3C, the K0 loading was continued (after unloading
to 74 kPa), but by direct measurement of radial strain as described
earlier in the text, rst to an axial stress of 6750 kPa (i.e., equal to
about 2.3 times the maximum previous consolidation stress of
2942 kPa), then unloaded to 168 kPa (i.e., to an OCR value of 40),
and nally loaded to an axial stress of about 27 230 kPa. The axial
stress was kept constant for about 2 days at 6750 and at 168 kPa. At
the nal stress, i.e., 27 230 kPa, it was kept constant for about
3 days. Because the specimen had free drainage both at top and
bottom, the excess pore pressure at mid height had to be calculated from the constant rate of strain (CRS) formulae (see Wissa
et al. 1971) using permeability values from oedometer test 3B-1.
Each time the calculated excess pore pressure tended to exceed 2%
of the minor effective principal stress, the rate of compression
was reduced. This led to rate of compression values varying from
0.005 to 0.020 mm/h (i.e., rate of axial strain varying from
0.0126%/h to 0.050%/h). The calculated excess pore pressure values
have not been taken into account when calculating the effective
stresses, however, the estimated maximum excess pore pressure
values should not, at any time, reduce the average effective minor
principal stress values by >1.3%.
Slight disturbance (by compression), triaxial test
Specimen 1C (initial diameter about 50 mm) was dismounted
from the triaxial cell after the K0 unloading to 74 kPa and trimmed
down to 38 mm by pressing it through a 38 mm cutting cylinder.
The 50 mm specimen was rst pressed into a cutting cylinder with
an internal diameter slightly smaller than 50 mm. The 50 and
38 mm cutting cylinders were then placed on the same mounting
frame so that they could be moved along a common centerline.
The 38 mm cylinder was placed so that the lower end of the
cylinder (i.e., the cutting edge) came about 14 mm above the top of
the 50 mm cylinder. The specimen was then pushed quickly
through the 50 mm and further into the 38 mm cylinder while the
distance between them was kept constant at 14 mm. This was
done to simulate disturbance due to tube sampling. The new
38 mm specimen, now called 1C-1, see Table 2, was mounted into
the triaxial cell again with dry lter disks, as usually done at NGI,
and a cell pressure close to the assumed swelling pressure was
applied. (Swelling pressure is dened as the all-around stress required to prevent swelling when the specimen has free access to
water.) The lter disks at the ends of the specimen were then
ushed with salt water (with correct salinity) and the cell pressure
adjusted continuously over about 4 days to determine the swelling pressure as accurately as possible. A back pressure of 980 kPa
was then applied, and the undrained shearing started from an
effective isotropic stress equal to the swelling pressure. The test
on specimen 1C-1 is designated as a test on a specimen that is
slightly disturbed by compression.
Severe disturbance (by compression), triaxial tests
Specimens 2C, 2D, and 3B (initial diameters 5051 mm) were
dismounted from the triaxial cell. Specimens 2C and 2D were
trimmed down to about 38 mm and named 2C-1 and 2D-1, respectively (analogous to tests 1C and 1C-1), but with an extra disturbance created by gluing grains of aluminum oxide on the inside of
the 38 mm cutting cylinder to increase the inside friction. Due to
this increased friction, the height of the specimens decreased by
about 9.9% for specimen 2C-1 and by about 14.7% for specimen
2D-1. The reason for these differences in compression is not exactly known; however, it is assumed that both specimens were
strained so much that they were close to the maximum possible
degree of disturbance. Both specimens had a nearly horizontal
crack near the top of the specimen after the disturbance process.
Both specimens were again mounted into the triaxial cell, with

Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 51, 2014

swelling pressure determined and back pressure applied as previously described for test 1C-1. For test 2C-,1 undrained shearing was
started from the swelling pressure as for test 1C-1. For test 2D-1, the
specimen was subjected to the same stresses acting on the
mother specimen 2D at the end of the K0 unloading, i.e., the in
situ stresses, axial and radial effective stresses being equal to 74
and 195 kPa, respectively, before start of undrained shearing.
Severe disturbance (by compression), oedometer tests
Specimen 3B was severely disturbed by compressing it vertically between two frictionless end plates so that it deformed
approximately as a right cylinder. The compression was done in a
triaxial cell in a few minutes. The maximum compression was
about 12%, and the permanent axial compression about 10%. The
specimen was then cut horizontally into three equal parts, and
the two at each end were used for oedometer tests on severely
disturbed material. The two oedometer specimens are named
3B-1 and 3B-2.
This type of disturbance is believed to be very close to what was
described for triaxial test specimens 2C-1 and 2D-1, as the main
type of deformation obtained for these specimens was axial compression when they were pressed through a cutting cylinder with
very high inside friction.
The two oedometer specimens were mounted into 20 cm2 oedometer cells with initial specimen height 2 cm and loaded with
constant rate of strain following the procedure for constant rate
of strain oedometer tests, without back pressure, as described by
Sandbkken et al. (1986). Both tests were performed at constant
rate of strain with measurement of pore pressure at the undrained bottom.
For specimen 3B-1, the rate of strain, except for the unloading
reloading loop, was about 0.3%/h. The initially dry lter disks were
saturated with salt water (26.58 g/L NaCl) at an axial stress of about
40 kPa. No swelling was permitted after saturation of the lter
disks. The total axial stress was kept constant for 16 h at a value of
5884 kPa, i.e., twice the maximum stress applied to the specimen
prior to the dismounting from the triaxial cell, the excess pore
pressure being negligible at this stage. The specimen was then
unloaded to a total axial stress of 147 kPa. The total axial stress was
kept constant for 16 h at this stress, the intention being to achieve
an OCR value equal to 40; however, the excess pore pressure at
this stage was equal to 31 kPa, which gives an OCR value equal to
35. The specimen was then loaded to 12 265 kPa, with a rate of
strain of about 0.3%/h. This stress was kept constant for about
4 days.
The test on specimen 3B-2 was performed in the same way as for
specimen 3B-1 except for the following:

Filter disks were saturated at about 130 kPa (instead of 40 kPa).


Two additional unloadingreloading loops were applied, one
starting unloading from about 2945 kPa and ending up with
OCR equal to about 39, and one starting from about 12 260 kPa
and ending up with OCR equal to about 36.
The total stress was kept constant for 24 h (instead of 16 h) at
the minimum stress for all three loops.
The stress was kept constant for 1.6 days (instead of 4 days) at
12 260 kPa.

Baligh type of disturbance (by compression and extension),


oedometer and triaxial tests
After K0 unloading to 74 kPa, specimens 3D and 3E were subjected to a Baligh type of disturbance (Baligh 1985) as follows:
After applying a back pressure of 980 kPa, the drainage from the
specimen was stopped (by closing the drainage valve) and the
specimen compressed to an axial strain of +3.5%, then extended to
an axial strain of 3.5%, and nally compressed back to 0% strain.
The values 3.5% axial strain were used by Lunne et al. (1998) to
simulate a typical thick wall tube sampling. Clayton and Siddique
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Berre

(1999) give peak values of +2.62% and 1.96% for the British Standard general purpose (U100) sampler (with liner). After application of the Baligh cycle under undrained conditions, the total
axial stress was decreased, under undrained conditions, to become equal to the total radial stress; the cell pressure was then
further decreased, still under undrained conditions, as described
in the following text.
For specimen 3D, the cell pressure was decreased until the pore
pressure was equal to zero. The difference between cell and pore
pressure was then equal to 127 kPa. This is probably somewhat
lower than would have been found if more time for stabilization
had been allowed. The water in the lter disks was then blown out
before dismounting the specimen from the triaxial cell. A small
part of specimen 3D, called 3D-1, was then mounted into a 20 cm2
oedometer cell with initial specimen height 2 cm and loaded with
a constant rate of strain of about 0.3%/h following basically the
same procedure as described previously for test 3B-1. This test is
denoted 3D-1.
For specimen 3E, water could not be blown out of the lter
disks, the reduction of the cell pressure was therefore stopped at
a pore pressure of 235 kPa and a cell pressure of 356 kPa. The
drainage valve was then opened and the cell pressure increased
somewhat to prevent signicant swelling. The original back pressure of 980 kPa was then reapplied while keeping the difference
between cell and pore pressure equal to about 166 kPa (i.e., the
swelling pressure). Finally, the same effective stresses acting on
the specimen at the end of the K0 unloading, i.e., axial and radial
effective stresses equal to 74 and 195 kPa, respectively, were applied about 1 day before start of undrained shearing, in compression, at a constant rate of strain of about 2%/h.

Test results
Analysis of test specimens
In Table 2, key data are given from the K0 loading of the nine
specimens that have been used to investigate effects of sample
disturbance. Because all the specimens in Table 2 (except for specimen 2E) have been loaded in exactly the same way, and because
the drainage conditions have been very similar for all the tests, all
strains given in the table (except for specimen 2E) should have
been almost identical, at least for all specimens from the same
large oedometer sample. However, this is not always the case,
especially not for specimens from large oedometer sample No. 3.
No corrections are applied in the following to account for possible
differences in the stressstrain properties for the specimens listed
in Table 2.
Slight disturbance (by compression), undrained triaxial
tests
In Fig. 1, test 1B, the test on totally undisturbed material from
the large oedometer sample No. 1 is compared with the test on the
somewhat disturbed specimen 1C-1 (trimmed from specimen 1C)
from the same large oedometer sample. The shearing for the latter was started from the swelling pressure, which was measured
to be 149 kPa (i.e., a = 153 kPa and r = 147 kPa, which gives an
octahedral stress of 149 kPa). If the material had been isotropically
elastic and totally undisturbed, the swelling pressure should have
been 155 kPa, which is very close to the measured value. It is seen
from Table 3 and Fig. 1 that the shear strength for test 1C-1 is
somewhat higher, about 6%, than for test 1B. However, the initial
parts of the stressstrain curves are very different for the two
tests, the initial strains being much smaller for test 1C-1. The
effective stress paths for the two tests shown in Fig. 1 are, except
for the initial parts, seen to come fairly close to each other.

899

Severe disturbance (by compression), undrained triaxial


tests
In Fig. 2, test 2B, the test on totally undisturbed material from
the large oedometer sample No. 2, is compared with the strongly
disturbed specimens 2C-1 and 2D-1 (trimmed from specimens 2C
and 2D, respectively) from the same large oedometer sample. The
main difference between tests 2C-1 and 2D-1 is that for test 2C-1
shearing was started from the swelling pressure, while for test
2D-1 the stresses, after determination of the swelling pressure,
were adjusted back to the stresses the mother specimen, 2D, carried at the end of its consolidation, i.e., 74 and 195 kPa, before start
of shearing. The swelling pressures for the two tests were about
256 and 277 kPa, respectively, i.e., about 3.5 and 3.7 times the axial
effective stress at end of consolidation. It is believed that values
signicantly higher than 3.5 and 3.7 cannot be created only by
dilatance due to shearing and must be due to breakdown (because
of sample disturbance) of cementation bonds created in the eld
at stresses higher than the present overburden. This is in agreement with the nding by Hight and Leroueil (2003) who reported
that the swelling pressures in specimens of stiff and hard plastic
clay are lower the lower the degree of sample disturbance.
The reason that the swelling pressure is somewhat higher for
2D-1 than for 2C-1 is probably that the axial strain during trimming was higher for 2D-1.
The following can be seen from Table 3 and Fig. 2:

The shear strength for test 2C-1 is about 14% higher than for test
2B. The initial parts of the stressstrain curves are very different for the two tests, the strain at a certain shear stress being
much smaller for test 2C-1 than for test 2B.
The shear strength for test 2D-1 is about 20% lower than for test
2B. However, if the strength is corrected upwards to account for
the swelling that takes place during the reconsolidation to the
correct initial effective stresses, the corrected strength comes
fairly close to the strength for test 2B. The correction is based
on the slope of the virgin compression curve for oedometer test
3B-1 using the same procedure as described by Berre et al. (2007)
in connection with the large-strain correction for sample disturbance. Further, as seen from Fig. 2, the initial part of the
stressstrain curve for test 2D-1 comes much closer to the initial
part of the stressstrain curve for test 2B than the initial part of
the stressstrain curve for test 2C-1.

The following conclusion may be drawn from the ndings reported in the preceding list. A possible way to determine the
undrained stressstrain relationship for strongly overconsolidated clays may be to reconsolidate the specimen anisotropically
to the best estimate of the in situ effective stresses, allow the
specimen to swell freely there, shear undrained, and correct the
nal large-strain shear strength upwards for the swelling according to the slope of the virgin compression curve. The slope of the
virgin compression curve may be determined by K0 triaxial or
oedometer tests. However, an upwards correction of the shear
strength is only recommended to estimate the strength value that
may be obtained by an improved sampling technique.
Severe disturbance (by compression), K0 triaxial and
oedometer tests
The K0 triaxial test 3C can be considered as a totally undisturbed
oedometer test, which should be compared with oedometer tests
3B-1 and 3B-2 on severely disturbed material. The results of test 3C
are given in Tables 4 and 5 and in Figs. 39.
The stress path followed for this test is shown in Fig. 3. In Fig. 4,
axial strain is plotted versus axial stress, with the latter in a logarithmic scale. Figure 4 also shows preconsolidation stresses determined by the Casagrande method. The maximum stress the
specimen was K0 loaded to prior to starting loading from point a
in Figs. 37 (i.e., the maximum previous consolidation stress) was
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Fig. 1. Effect of slight sample disturbance on results of a CIU triaxial test (test with isotropic stresses (equal to the swelling pressure) followed
by undrained shearing) where shearing starts from swelling pressure.

Table 3. Results of triaxial tests.


Stresses and strains
prior to start of
undrained shearing
Specimen Notes regarding
No.
specimens

Type of
a
test
wi (%) wc (%) wf (%) (kPa)

1B
1C-1
2B
2C-1
2D-1
2E
3E

CK0U
CIU
CK0U
CIU
CAU
CK0CV
CAU

Entirely undisturbed
Slightly disturbed
Entirely undisturbed
Severely disturbed
Severely disturbed
Entirely undisturbed
Baligh disturbance

26.9
25.4
27.6
26.3
25.8
27.7
27.00

26.9
25.3
27.6
26.3
27.1
22.0
27.26

27.2
25.6
28.2
26.1
27.2
22.7
26.0

r
(kPa)

a
(%)

Data at failure during undrained shearing


vol
(%)

74.0 195.3 0
0
152.9 147.3 0.18 0.23
74.2 195.5 0
0
262.7 252.0 0.41 0
73.7 195.4 4.36 2.13
2941 1765
10.78 8.97
73.2 195.2 2.49 0.44

B value a r/2 a r /2
a
(kPa)
(%)
(kPa)
u (kPa) (%)

a
(%/h)

98.4
98.2
98.6
99.0
98.2
17.0
96.1

2.08
2.04
2.43
2.70
2.73
2.63
1.93

196.0
208.0
187.5
213.4
150.9
800.4
185.9

400.0
420.9
385.0
446.5
309.8
2214
393.6

8.3
65.1
1.5
19.6
37.2
0
11.6

15.30
13.68
16.9
14.86
19.16
0.93
17.93

Note: Triaxial test specimens have been K0 consolidated in laboratory to a = 2942 kPa, then, except for specimen 2E, K0 unloaded to a = 74 kPa, then, except
for specimen 2E, subjected to various degrees of sample disturbance, and nally sheared undrained in compression. Specimen 2E was, after K0 consolidation
to 2941 kPa, sheared at constant volume, i.e., a CK0CV test at OCR = 1. The purpose of this test was to determine the shear strength at OCR = 1 for the SHANSEP
equation. CAU, triaxial test with anisotropic consolidation to the in situ effective stresses (also referred to as the correct stresses) followed by undrained
shearing in compression; CIU, triaxial test with isotropic stresses (equal to the swelling pressure) followed by undrained shearing in compression; CK0CV,
triaxial test with K0-consolidation followed by shearing at constant volume in compression; CK0U, triaxial test with K0-consolidation followed by undrained
shearing in compression.
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Fig. 2. Effect of severe sample disturbance on results of undrained triaxial tests.

Table 4. Initial data for K0 triaxial and three oedometer tests on material from large oedometer sample No. 3.
Boring No.

DWS 202A

DWS 202A

DWS 202A

DWS 202A

Depth (m)
Test No.
Type of test
Type of material
Initial water content, wi (%)
Calculated degree of brine saturation (%)
Height (mm)
Diameter (mm)

4.70
3C
K0 triaxial
Undisturbed
27.3
99
39.7
36.0

4.66
3B-1
Oedometer
Severely disturbed
26.2
102
20
50.5

4.74
3B-2
Oedometer
Severely disturbed
26.2
101
20
50.5

4.66
3D-1
Oedometer
Baligh disturbance
25.72
97
20
50.5

2.94 MPa. However, due to creep the value of the apparent preconsolidation stress (i.e., the yield stress), pc , will be about 8% higher

than the maximum previous consolidation stress, (ac
)max. The

value of 8% was judged from plots of a versus a (in log scale),
including points prior to and during the creep phase. For curve
ab in Fig. 4, the true value of pc then will be 1.08(2.94) = 3.18 MPa.
Thus, the pc value of 3 MPa determined by the Casagrande method
(Casagrande 1936) is only about 6% lower than the true value. For
part cd, the true value of pc is equal to 6.75(1.08) = 7.29 MPa. The
Casagrande value is 7.3 MPa, i.e., equal to the true value. (If the
rate of loading during reconsolidation is low enough, the yield

)max.)
stress should become close to (ac

It is seen from Fig. 4 that if a line is drawn through point a


parallel with the average slope of the unloadingreloading loop,
this line will intersect the virgin compression line at an axial
stress equal to 2.8 MPa, which again is fairly close to the pc value
obtained with the Casagrande procedure, i.e., 3.0 MPa. The average slope of the unloadingreloading loop is the slope of a line
through the point representing the end of the creep at point c and
the point on the recompression curve at the pc value after the
reloading, i.e., 7.3 MPa in Fig. 4. The virgin compression line is a
line through the steepest part of the virgin compression curve.
This way to estimate pc is called the simplied method. This
procedure could be an alternative or a supplement to the CasaPublished by NRC Research Press

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Table 5. Values of pc obtained from K0 triaxial test 3C on a totally


undisturbed material.
Type of pc value

pc (MPa)

pc /(pc )true

True value for part ab (2.942 1.08)


True value for part cd (6.75 1.08)
Simplied method for part ab
Casagrande method for part ab
Casagrande method for part cd
Lunne et al. (2008) for part ab
Lunne et al. (2008) for part cd
Karlsrud (2009) for part ab
Karlsrud (2009) for part cd

3.18
7.29
2.8
3.0
7.3
3.6
7.7
3.1
6.8

1.00
1.00
0.88
0.94
1.00
1.13
1.06
0.97
0.93

Fig. 4. Determination of preconsolidation stress, pc, for K0 triaxial


test 3C on entirely undisturbed material. True value of pc is 3.18 and
7.29 MPa for parts ab and cd, respectively.

Fig. 3. Effective stress path for K0 triaxial test 3C on entirely


undisturbed material, starting at correct stresses (i.e., point a, 74 and
195 kPa).

Fig. 5. Stressstrain curves for K0 triaxial test 3C on entirely


undisturbed material.

grande procedure when the point of maximum curvature for the


Casagrande procedure is difcult to determine due to sample disturbance. Actually, if the true pc value had not been known, the
point of maximum curvature in Fig. 4 could have been taken out
at point A instead of at 8% axial strain. This would have given a pc
value of about 1.1 instead of 2.8 MPa. If the loading had been
stopped at a stress lower than about 2 MPa, a pc value as low as
about 0.15 MPa would have been found due to the change in the
slope of the virgin compression line. It is seen from Fig. 4 that
there is a very stiff portion of the stressstrain curve between 74
and 100 kPa. This portion is shown in the M plots in Fig. 6 for test
3C and in Fig. 11 for test 3B-1.
In Fig. 5, axial and radial strain are plotted versus effective axial
stress, with the latter in a natural scale. In Fig. 6, constrained
modulus, M, is plotted versus axial stress, a, for determination of
pc as suggested by Janbu (1969). Two different interpretations have
been used to determine pc from this plot (see Fig. 7). With the
Lunne et al. (2008) interpretation, the pc value is set equal to the a
value at the intersection between a horizontal line through the
minimum M value and a tangent line to the M values between the
maximum and the minimum values. For part ab, a pc value of
3.6 MPa is then obtained, i.e., 13% higher than the true value for
this branch, which is 3.18 MPa. For part cd, a pc value of 7.7 MPa

is obtained, i.e., about 6% higher than the true value for this
branch, which is 7.29 MPa. With the interpretation by Karlsrud
(2009), pc is set equal to the a value midway between the maximum and the minimum M value. For part ab, a pc value of 3.1 MPa
is obtained by this procedure, which is very close to the true value
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Fig. 6. Determination of preconsolidation stress, pc , by plots of


constrained modulus versus axial stress (Janbu 1969) for K0 triaxial
test 3C on entirely undisturbed material. True value of pc is 3.18 and
7.29 MPa for parts ab and cd, respectively.

Fig. 7. Principal sketch showing how pc has been determined when
using Janbus plot of M versus a (Janbu 1969). Procedure described
by Karlsrud and Hernandez-Matinez (2013) differs slightly from
procedure referred to as Karlsrud (2009); however, for type of
material tested here, pc values are fairly close for both procedures.

(which is 3.18 MPa). For part cd, a pc value of 6.8 MPa is obtained,
i.e., about 7% lower than the true value (which is 7.29 MPa).
The pc values obtained by the various methods for test 3C are
summarized in Table 5.
Karlsrud and Hernandez-Martinez (2013) have described a
procedure which differs slightly from the procedure referred to
as Karlsrud (2009). Their procedure is not used in this paper;
however, for the type of material tested here, the pc values are
fairly close to the two procedures.
In Fig. 8, the following two curves are shown for test 3C:

M versus a for part ab (i.e., from about 0.3 to about 6.5 MPa).
Normalized M values versus normalized a values for part cd.
The normalization is done by multiplying the M and a values
for this part, up to a = 15 MPa, by 2.94/6.75, i.e., the ratio

903

Fig. 8. Comparison of normalized and directly observed modulus


values for K0 triaxial test 3C on entirely undisturbed material.

Fig. 9. Comparison of stressstrain curves for K0 triaxial test 3C (on


entirely undisturbed material) and oedometer test 3B-1 on severely
disturbed material.

between the values of the maximum previous consolidation


stresses for parts ab and cd.
According to the SHANSEP concept (Ladd and Foott 1974), the
two curves should fall on top of each other. The curves in Fig. 8 are
seen to agree reasonably well with each other, although the normalized curve is seen to give M values that are somewhat too
high.
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Table 6. Values of pc obtained from oedometer test 3B-1 on severely disturbed material and from oedometer test 3D-1
on material with Baligh disturbance.
Test 3B-1
Type of

pc

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True value for part ab (2.942 1.12)


True value for part cd (5.884 1.12)
Simplied method for part ab
Casagrande method for part ab
Casagrande method for part cd
Lunne et al. (2008) for part ab
Lunne et al. (2008) for part cd
Karlsrud (2009) for part ab
Karlsrud (2009) for part cd

pc

Test 3D-1

(MPa)

3.30
6.59
2.0
1.8
7.0
No value obtained
6.4
No value obtained
5.7

pc /(pc )true

pc (MPa)

pc /(pc )true

1.00
1.00
0.61
0.55
1.06
No value obtained
0.97
No value obtained
0.86

3.30
6.59
1.5
1.9

1.00
1.00
0.45
0.58

Fig. 10. Determination of pc for oedometer tests 3B-1 on severely


disturbed material. True value of pc is 3.30 and 6.59 MPa for parts
ab and cd, respectively.

Fig. 11. Axial strain and constrained modulus versus axial stress for
oedometer test 3B-1 on severely disturbed material. True value of pc
is 3.30 and 6.59 MPa for parts ab and cd, respectively.

In Fig. 9, the plot of axial strain versus log a for triaxial test 3C
is compared with the same plot for oedometer test 3B-1 (on severely disturbed material). The curve for test 3C has been adjusted
slightly downwards so that the two curves coincide at about
74 kPa. It is seen that for strains up to about 7.5%, the strains are
somewhat smaller for test 3B-1. This is very similar to the results
shown in Figs. 1 and 2 where the strains during the initial part of
the shearing for the tests, where shearing starts at the swelling
pressure, are much smaller than for the tests on entirely undisturbed material. It may be that the initial part of the curve for test
3B-1 would also have come closer to the curve for the test 3C if the
specimen had been allowed to swell at the in situ stresses, i.e., 74
and 195 kPa. This could easily have been achieved for a K0 triaxial
test. For an oedometer test, a would have had to be loaded to a
somewhat higher stress than 74 kPa and then unloaded to 74 kPa
to get an improved starting r value. However, if swelling had
been allowed at 74/195 kPa, the pc value determined from the
disturbed specimen probably would have been even lower in the
same way as the undrained shear strength was found to be lower
when swelling was allowed.
The unloadingreloading loop show, on the average, less swelling for the oedometer test than for the K0 triaxial test. This is
believed to be partly due to the side friction that is reversed each

time the loading direction is changed for the oedometer test, and
perhaps also not enough time being allowed for swelling during
the unloading for the oedometer test.
The results of oedometer tests 3B-1 and 3B-2 are given in
Tables 4 and 6 and in Figs. 1013. In Fig. 10, axial strain is plotted
versus axial stress for test 3B-1, with the stress in a logarithmic
scale. When water (with correct salinity) was ushed through the
lter disks at a = 40 kPa, the stress increased rapidly to about
150 kPa because of the tendency for the specimen to swell. The
swelling pressure for the most disturbed triaxial test specimens
were 256 and 277 kPa. However, if the height of the oedometer
specimen had been kept constant for 4 days as for the triaxial
tests, and if a more correct radial stress could have been applied
for the oedometer tests, the axial stress probably would have
increased more also for the oedometer tests.
The apparent preconsolidation stress, pc has been determined
for parts ab and cd by the Casagrande method. The maximum
stress the specimens were K0 loaded to prior to the mounting into

)max, was, as for the other tests, equal to
the oedometer cell, (ac
2.94 MPa. However, due to the creep taking place before start of
unloading, the apparent preconsolidation stress, pc , determined
during continuous rapid oedometer loading will be about 12%

)max. For part ab in Fig. 10, the true value of pc will
higher than (ac
then be 1.12(2.94) = 3.30 MPa, thus the pc value of 1.8 MPa determined by the Casagrande method is only 55% of the true value.
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Fig. 12. Comparison of stressstrain curves for oedometer tests 3B-1


and 3B-2 on severely disturbed material.

905

Fig. 14. Theoretical strain conditions at center line of sample (after


Baligh 1985).

Fig. 13. Comparison of various modulus values.

The simplied method gives pc = 2.0 MPa, which is about 11%
higher than the Casagrande value. In Fig. 10, the point of maximum curvature has been chosen at the middle of the long curved
part of ab, as is sometimes done when there is no clear bend to
dene the point with maximum curvature. The steepest part of
the virgin curve has been used when determining pc by the Casagrande method. Again the simplied method can be an alternative or a supplement to the Casagrande procedure. No pc value
could be obtained for part ab from the modulus plot. For part
cd, the true pc value is equal to 1.12(5.88) = 6.59 MPa. The Casagrande value for part cd is 7.0 MPa, i.e., about 6% higher than the
true value. In Fig. 11, axial strain and constrained modulus are
plotted versus axial stress, with the latter in a natural scale. With
the Lunne et al. (2008) interpretation of Janbus M plot, a pc value
of 6.4 MPa is obtained for part cd, i.e., about 3% lower than the
true value. With the interpretation by Karlsrud (2009), a pc value
of 5.7 MPa is obtained for part cd, i.e., about 14% lower than the
true value.
In Fig. 12, a is plotted versus log a for both oedometer tests 3B-1
and 3B-2. For test 3B-2, salt water was ushed into the lters at a =
130 kPa (while for test 3B-1 this was done at 40 kPa). The swelling
pressures appear to be about the same for the two tests. Test 3B-2
is seen to have two extra unloadingreloading loops compared to
test 3B-1, one starting from 2.94 MPa, i.e., the same as the maximum stress the specimen was loaded to during the K0 loading
prior to the oedometer testing, one starting from 5.88 MPa and
one starting from 12.26 MPa. For test 3B-2, the time where the total
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Fig. 15. Stressstrain curves and stress paths (undrained) followed when disturbing specimens 3D and 3E according to Baligh type of
disturbance.

axial stress was kept constant after each unloading was increased
to 24 h (compared to 16 h for test 3B-1). This led to an OCR value of
36 for the unloading from 5.88 MPa, compared to 35 for test 3B-1.
The second loop at about 2 pc corresponds to the normal loading
procedure at NGI. A normalized version of this loop is often used
in connection with correction for sample disturbance for stresses
below pc . It should, in principle, be possible to use the rst loop
directly (i.e., without normalization) to correct for sample disturbance. To use such a loop is one way to achieve approximately
correct radial stresses after unloading for oedometer tests. However, as seen from Fig. 12, the strain after this unloading is significantly higher than the initial strain at this stress (i.e., at 74 KPa).
To obtain approximately correct strain after unloading to 74 kPa,
it seems that unloading would have to start at a signicantly
lower stress than pc . On the other hand, it does not seem that the
introduction of an extra unloading loop starting from pc tends to
disturb the virgin curve above about 1.5 pc signicantly.
In Fig. 13, M is plotted versus a (from about 0.4 to about 6 MPa)
for the following cases:

Plot No. 2 Oedometer test 3B-1 on severely disturbed material,


part ab.
Plot No. 3 Oedometer test 3B-1 on severely disturbed material,
normalized version of part cd. The normalization is done by
multiplying the M and the a values for this part by 2.94/5.88, i.e.,
the ratio between the maximum previous consolidation stresses
for parts ab and cd.
Plot No. 4 Oedometer test 3B-2 on severely disturbed material,
the reloading part of the rst unloadingreloading loop, i.e., the
one where unloading starts from about the maximum previous
consolidation stress, i.e., 2.94 MPa.

Plot No. 1 K0 triaxial test 3C on totally undisturbed material,


part ab.

If there had been no sample disturbance and if the SHANSEP


principle had been fully valid, plots 2 4 should all have coincided
with No. 1, i.e., the one for totally undisturbed material. Plot No. 3
is seen to be the one that comes closest to No. 1.
From the earlier discussion, the following may be concluded for
the oedometer tests:

The effect of severe sample disturbance is signicant, but not


dramatic, and probably acceptable in most cases.
Normalized values of unloadingreloading loops starting from
about two times the apparent preconsolidation stress and endPublished by NRC Research Press

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ing at about two times the present vertical effective stress may
be used to correct the stress strain data for sample disturbance,
although the corrected modulus values (especially the initial
ones) tend to be somewhat too high.
Baligh type of disturbance (by compression and extension),
triaxial and oedometer tests
Figure 14 shows theoretical strain contours at the center line of
a tube sample as presented by Baligh (1985). In Fig. 15, the stress
strain curves and the effective stress path (points 14) are shown
for the Baligh type of disturbance for specimen 3D (which is the
mother specimen to oedometer specimen 3D-1) and for specimen
3E. Specimen 3D appears to be somewhat stronger than 3E. The
reason for this is not exactly known, but it may be connected with
the fact that less swelling took place for specimen 3D than for all
other specimens during the preparation of the specimens when
K0 unloading from 2942 to 74 kPa. As previously mentioned, the
swelling pressures were found to be between 127 and 166 kPa for
specimens 3D and 3E, respectively, while they were 256 and
277 kPa for tests 2C-1 and 2D-1, respectively (i.e., the two tests with
severe disturbance by compression). For isotropic elastic specimens with no disturbance, the swelling pressure should be [74 +
2(195)]/3 = 155 kPa. If the Baligh type of loading had been stopped
at point 3, i.e., at a vertical strain of 3.5%, swelling pressures up
towards about 300 kPa might have been observed, i.e., up to about
150 kPa in excess of the in situ octahedral effective stress (which is
155 kPa). Those are values closer to what one would expect for a
strongly disturbed and strongly overconsolidated stiff clay of high
plasticity.
In Fig. 16, axial strain is plotted versus axial effective stress, the
latter in a logarithmic scale for oedometer test 3D-1 (the one from
mother specimen 3D with Baligh disturbance) together with the
K0 test on specimen 3C (the totally undisturbed one). The rst
unloadingreloading loop for test 3D-1 was applied by mistake;
however, it does not seem to have had any signicant inuence on
the following virgin part of the curve. The curves for the two tests
follow each other quite well up to an axial stress of about 1.0 MPa
because, in this case, it is believed that there is almost no tendency for swelling to be suppressed at the initial part of the oedometer test, as it was for test 3B-1 in Fig. 9. At higher stresses, the
curves continue to separate from each other until an axial stress
of about 4 MPa, the difference in axial strain then being about
2.0% whereafter the difference gradually decreases to about 1.2%
at an axial stress of about 9 MPa. The unloadingreloading part of
the curve, which starts at about 15% axial strain, shows, on the
average, a stiffer behaviour than seen for the undisturbed specimen 3C and even more so than for specimen 3B-1 in Fig. 9 (the
severely disturbed one). The Casagrande and the simplied methods give estimated pc values of 1.9 and 1.5 MPa, respectively, the
true value being 3.30 MPa. The plot of M versus axial strain does
not give any indication of where to pick out pc in this region.
In Fig. 17, stressstrain curves and effective stress paths are given
for triaxial test 3E. Figure 17 also shows the results of test 2B, the test
on totally undisturbed material from large oedometer sample No. 2.
The curves for the two tests are seen to fall almost on top of each
other. If the strength is corrected upwards to account for the swelling
that takes place during the reconsolidation to the correct initial
stresses, i.e., 74 and 195 kPa, in the same way as previously explained
in connection with test 2D-1, the corrected strength becomes about
6% higher than the uncorrected one, as shown in Fig. 17. The correction is based on the virgin curve for oedometer test 3B-1.

SHANSEP parameters for determination of pc


Ladd and Foott (1974) have proposed the following equation (the
SHANSEP equation) to describe the relationship between overconsolidation ratio, OCR, and normalized undrained shear strength,

:
su/ac

907

Fig. 16. Comparison of stressstrain curves for K0 triaxial test 3C


(totally undisturbed material) and oedometer tests 3D-1 (material
subjected to Baligh type of disturbance).

su

ac


su


ac

(OCRm)
OCR1

where su is undrained shear strength for a specimen that has been


K0 unloaded so that the axial consolidation stress has become


equal to ac
; su/ac
OCR1 is the ratio between undrained shear
strength and axial consolidation stress at the maximum previous

)max, i.e., the axial stress before start of
consolidation stress, (ac


unloading; OCR is equal to (ac
)max/ac
; m is a constant.

for the most disturbed
For the triaxial tests reported here, su/ac
specimen, 2D-1, is equal to 2.04, while for the undisturbed specimen with the highest su value, 1B, it is equal to 2.65.

For routine testing at NGI, relationships between su/ac
, OCR,
and plasticity index based on correlations for Drammen clay after
Andresen et al. (1979) would probably have been used. For a clay

versus OCR correspondwith plasticity index of 30%, a plot of su/ac

ing to su/acOCR1 = 0.31 and an m value of 0.82 would then have
been utilized.
For the triaxial tests referred to earlier (1B and 2D-1), OCR values

)max
between 13.7 and 9.95 then would have been found, i.e., (ac
values between 1014 and 736 kPa corresponding to 0.34 and
0.25 times the true maximum previous consolidation stress of
2942 kPa.
The true SHANSEP parameters for the clay used in this investigation have been determined (from tests 2E and 2B) to be as fol
OCR1 = 0.272 and m = 0.606. With these parameter
lows: su/ac

values the following OCR and (ac
)max values are then obtained
(for tests 1B and 2D-1):
OCR 27.8 to 42.8


i.e., ac
max = 20553167 kPa, which are ac
max values correspond
ing to 0.701.08 times the maximum consolidation stress ac
max.

However, the su/ac value for the most disturbed specimen
(2D-1) after correction for the swelling during the reconsolidation
to the in situ stresses is equal to 2.70, which gives an OCR value

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Fig. 17. Effect of Baligh type of disturbance on undrained triaxial compression test.



equal to 44.1, i.e., ac
max = 3266 kPa that is a ac
max value corresponding to 1.11 times the true value.

value from a test where shearing starts
Alternatively, an su/ac

max value that was
at the swelling pressure may be used. A ac
about 24% too high was then found.

)OCR=1
In this discussion, it has been assumed that m and (su/ac
both can be considered to be constant. This may not always be
true for such large stress ranges, although Andersen (2004) has
shown that m is quite constant for OCR values up to 40 for tests
unloaded from 400 kPa, having a plasticity index of about 30, i.e.,
about the same as for the triaxial tests reported here. This indicates that reasonable SHANSEP parameters may be determined

values that are of
from two OCR tests if those are performed at ac
the same order of magnitude as the correct ones. However, the
gure examples given earlier in the text indicate that if the tests

values that are too high, then OCR values that
are performed at ac
are too high may be obtained.

ratio 40. The material so created was disturbed in the following ways
to simulate sample disturbance in connection with tube sampling:
1. By pressing the sample quickly through a tube with a very high
inside friction, leading to a rapid compression of the sample of
10%15%, or only by a rapid compression of about 10%.
2. By applying a Baligh type of disturbance in a triaxial cell with
3.5% undrained straining.
The main testing results may be summarized as follows:
1. CAU triaxial tests on specimens with various degree of sample
disturbance gave the following results:

Summary and conclusions


The purpose of the testing has been to study the inuence of
sampling disturbance on a plastic, heavily overconsolidated, noncemented, stiff clay, the maximum previous consolidation stress (applied in the laboratory) being 2942 kPa and the overconsolidation

Allowing the specimens to swell freely at the in situ effective


stresses gave the best stressstrain relationships around the in
situ stresses. The undrained shear strength values were then
up to about 20% too low. They may be corrected upwards by
the use of the virgin part of oedometer curves even from tests
on very disturbed materials; however, an upward correction
of the strengths is only recommended to estimate strength
values that may be obtained by improved sampling technique.
Starting shearing at the swelling pressure rather than at the in
situ effective stresses gave initial strains that were far too
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909

small, and strength values that were somewhat too high


(about 14% too high).
2. CRS oedometer tests on specimens with various degree of sample
disturbance mounted with dry lter disks to prevent initial swelling gave the following results:

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The inuence of sample disturbance is signicant, but not


dramatic, and probably acceptable in most cases even for
severely disturbed specimens.
For severely disturbed specimens the initial strains are (as
for triaxial tests when starting shearing from the swelling
pressure) too small. Later, for strains above about 6%8%,
they become gradually somewhat too large.
Estimation of the apparent preconsolidation stress, pc ,
seems to be difcult even for moderately disturbed specimens. Methods based on changes in tangent modulus do
not seem to work unless the specimen is almost entirely
undisturbed. Empirical procedures like the Casagrande and
a new procedure (i.e., the simplied method) based on
unloadingreloading loops gave preconsolidation pressures
for severely disturbed specimens that were typically around
0.6 times the correct value.
Another possibility is to use values of compression undrained
shear strength in combination with the SHANSEP equation,
but this will require at least two, preferably more, triaxial tests
at different OCR values to determine the parameters in the
SHANSEP equation properly. Shearing for such tests may start
at an isotropic stress equal to the swelling pressure, although
the pc values determined by such tests may be somewhat too
high (about 24% too high according to this investigation).
Unloadingreloading cycles starting at about 2 pc , and unloading down to about two times the in situ vertical stress may be
used to correct the stressstrain urve for sample disturbance,
although the corrected modulus values (especially the initial
ones) tend to be somewhat too high.

Other important ndings are summarized as follows:


1. The true pc value for an entirely undisturbed specimen occurred at
a rather high strain, about 9%, but there was also a change in
stiffness at a very low strain (less than about 0.2% strain) that
could have been misinterpreted as a pc value. The true pc value
for entirely undisturbed specimens could be fairly well determined by the Casagrande method and by methods based on
plots of constrained modulus.
2. Disturbance by a rapid compression of the sample of 10%15%
gave a signicant inuence on the stress strain curves and
relatively high swelling pressures, while a Baligh circle of
3.5% axial strain gave a relatively small inuence on the
stress strain curves, and a relatively small increase in swelling
pressure; in spite of that this should correspond to disturbance caused by a typical thick wall tube sampling. It may be
that the Baligh straining should be stopped at the most negative axial strain rather than going back to zero strain, as this
would give a higher swelling pressure.
3. Determination of swelling pressures by increasing the conning
stress in a triaxial cell until no swelling takes place seems to give
reasonable values of swelling pressure for fully saturated specimens; however, values of swelling pressures of more than about
3.7 times the in situ vertical effective stress were not found in this
investigation. It is assumed therefore that higher values than
those are not created by dilatance due to shearing alone, but also
more or less due to breakdown, because of sample disturbance,
of cementation bonds created in the eld at higher stresses than
the present overburden ones.
4. When utilizing unloadingreloading loops to determine preconsolidation stresses and to correct for sample disturbance for
strongly overconsolidated days, it is important to give the speci-

men enough time to complete the swelling before starting reloading.

Acknowledgements
The author thanks his NGI colleagues who contributed to this
work, i.e., Geir Sandbkken, Morten Sjursen, Reidar Otter, and
Sven Vangbk for valuable laboratory assistance, Kaare Heg,
Tom Lunne, and Knut Schjetne for their valuable comments to the
draft of this report, and Statoil for giving NGI permission to use
the material from the Troll eld in the North Sea for research
purposes.

References
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List of symbols
B
D
K0
M

Skemptons pore-pressure parameter


outside diameter of sample tube
earth pressure coefcient at rest (= r /a )
tangent value of constrained modulus (= a /a when/
r = 0); M is determined from K0 triaxial or oedometer tests
Published by NRC Research Press

910

Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 51, 2014

m
OCR
p
pc

(pc )true
su
r

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t
u
w
wc
wf
wi

parameter in the SHANSEP equation




overconsolidation ratio (= (ac
)max/ac
)
effective mean stress
value of apparent preconsolidation stress (i.e., the yield
stress) as determined directly from stressstrain data for
continuous rapid reloading (e.g., oedometer or K0 triaxial
tests)


true value of pc (i.e., equal to (ac
)max (1.08) or (ac
)max (1.12)
for the tests in this paper)
undrained shear strength
distance from centerline of sample to a certain point in the
sample
thickness of sample tube
excess pore pressure, i.e., (total pore pressure)/(back pressure)
water content
calculated value of w at end of consolidation (i.e., at start of
undrained shearing), assuming fully water saturated material
directly determined water content at end of shearing, i.e.,
after dismounting the specimen
initial water content, i.e., water content after K0 unloading
to 74 kPa and after possible disturbance

z distance from bottom of sample to a certain point in the


sample
a axial (i.e., vertical) strain. For the data in Table 2, a is equal
to the axial compression from start of the K0 loading multiplied by 100, divided by the height of the specimen at start
of the K0 loading. For the data in Table 3 and all the gures,
a is equal to the axial compression from start of shearing,
multiplied by 100, divided by the specimen height at start
undrained of shearing
a rate of axial strain during shearing
r radial (i.e., horizontal) strain. This parameter is dened and
used analogous to a
vol volumetric strain. This parameter is dened analogous to a
zz vertical strain
a total axial stress, calculation of a based on average current
specimen area; a is corrected for membrane restraint
a effective axial stress


ac
value of ac
at end of consolidation

(ac)max maximum previous consolidation axial effective stress, i.e.,
before start of unloading
r total radial stress; r is corrected for membrane restraint
r effective radial stress
shear stress (on 45 plane)

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