The influence of structure on the behaviour of London Clay

Extensive investigation is described into the London Clay units from Heathrow Terminal 5. Intrinsic properties and composition were established, and relating the behaviour of intact and reconstituted samples allowed the effects of the clay's natural structure to be identified at all depths. Structure varied between units, but some general features emerged that have not been seen in other stiff clays. In particular, intact samples follow paths under isotropic or K0 compression that fail to provide well-defined gross yield points, or converge with the unit's intrinsic compression lines. Structure contributes to the enhanced shear strength of intact unfissured clay and affects the initial stiffness relationships. Some identifiable features of the intact units' fabric correlated directly with their behaviour. Natural fissures within the clay, the most important mesofabric feature, had an important impact on shear strength and led to an unusual pattern of directional dependence, and particle orientation trends identified by scanning electron microscopy governed the strong elastic stiffness anisotropy. The potential for destructuration through swelling to low effective stresses was also studied and found significant for subsequent volumetric compression behaviour, but not for shearing. Hight et al. synthesise the data from this and companion papers presented by the authors, and discuss the practical consequences of the results obtained. (A)

  • Availability:
  • Authors:
    • COOP, M R
    • JARDINE, R J
  • Publication Date: 2007-2


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 19-31
  • Serial:
    • Geotechnique
    • Volume: 57
    • Issue Number: 1
    • Publisher: Thomas Telford Limited
    • ISSN: 00168505

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01055002
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Aug 6 2007 2:17PM