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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Dynamic properties of an undisturbed clay from resonant column tests Zavoral, Dan


The dynamic properties of clay deposits under seismic or wave loading conditions must be well understood to assure dynamic stability of structures founded on such soil. The dynamic shear modulus and damping appear to be a complex function of many variables, and a wide range of values have been reported in the literature. Consequently, considerable uncertainty exists in choosing the appropriate values of shear modulus and damping for a particular problem. This thesis presents a study of the influence of various factors on the shear modulus and damping of a marine clay using a resonant column/torsional shear device. In particular, the influence of factors such as shear strain amplitude, effective confining stress, stress history, frequency (strain rate), and secondary time-dependent behaviour are examined. The pore pressure response is also studied. The shear modulus was found to degrade for shear strains above 0.005%. The strain dependency was found to be well represented by a single normalized modulus reduction curve regardless of the confining pressure or overconsolidation ratio. Slower strain rates resulted in smaller values of shear modulus. Of the variables studied, the duration of sample confinement was found to be the most imporant factor affecting the material damping. Above 0.005% strain, the damping of the marine clay increased with shearing strain amplitude. No significant effect of confining pressure and stress history on damping was observed at any strain level. As well, the material damping was found to be relatively independent of loading frequency. Both the shear wave velocity and damping obtained in this study were found to be consistent with the in situ values determined using the seismic cone penetration test.

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