This paper re-evaluates the method currently specified for the control of earthworks by applying an upper limit of moisture content, and investigates the Transport and Road Research Laboratory's moisture condition value (mcv) test, which is becoming increasingly important. Ten samples of brown glacial clay and one sample of sand from a typical site in Northumberland were subjected to rigorous and systematic testing. For each sample, the natural moisture content, index properties, and particle size distribution down to silt size were obtained. Each very large bulk sample was subdivided into four sub-samples, one of which was tested at natural moisture content, and the others of which were wetted or dried to produce a range of moisture conditions. The mcv test, unconfined compression tests, and California bearing ratio (CBR) tests were performed on each sub-sample. The following conclusions were reached: (1) scientific control of earthworks cannot be achieved on the basis of a moisture content limit alone; (2) the quickest, simplest, and most accurate methods of determining the shear strength and bearing capacity of a soil are by direct measurement; (3) the unconfined compression test or triaxial test performed on remoulded samples, is probably the most accurate method of determining shear strength on clay soils, but its apparatus is rarely available on site; (4) the mcv test, when applied to clay soils, has no advantage in accuracy over the CBR test and is usually laborious; (5) the CBR test is widely understood and has several other advantages. (TRRL)

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Geo Publishing Limited

    P.O. Box 370
    Brentwood, Essex CM14 4AQ,   England 
  • Authors:
    • Baird, H G
  • Publication Date: 1988-5

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 21
  • Serial:
    • Volume: 22
    • Issue Number: 4
    • ISSN: 0017-4653

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00493478
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 30 2000 12:00AM