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Geotechnical Aspects of Buildings on Expansive Soils in Kibaha, Tanzania
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Civil and Architectural Engineering, Soil and Rock Mechanics.
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

 The focus of this study is on potential damages to buildings resulting from expansive soils in Tanzania, particularly clay soils in Kibaha. For the fact that most of the affected structures are founded on expansive soils, a clear understanding of the behaviour of soils and their interaction with structures has been of interest to the study in order to evaluate properly the source of the problem.The geotechnical behaviour of expansive clay soils is investigated by looking into the geomorphologic, geological and climatic conditions and mineralogical composition of the soils in the study area.Two sites, representative of known problem-areas in Kibaha were selected for geotechnical tests. Geotechnical site investigation consisted of open trial pits, profile description and the collection of both disturbed and undisturbed samples. To extend and amplify the findings, supplementary samples were collected from the environs of the two sites.The collected samples were submitted to soil laboratories at KTH, ARU, SEAMIC and DIT for mineralogical composition tests, natural water content, density, Atterberg limits and swell tests. The results of this investigation indicate that soils in Kibaha contains clay (31%), have high liquid limit (59%) and plastic limit (37%) which indicate high potential swell.Since swell pressure, free swell and swell percent are key properties of expansive soils, the swell properties were measured by free swell tests and one-dimensional oedometer swell tests. The free swell ranged from 100% to 150% and the swell pressure was in the region of 45 kPa. The coefficient of linear extensibility (COLE) was determined for characterizing expansive clays. For all tested samples, COLE ranged from 0.09 to 0.14 indicating that soils fall in the region of high to very high expansion potential rating. The properties of expansive soils were confirmed by the x-ray diffraction test which showed the presence of smectite in the soil. Furthermore, total suction measurement technique using filter paper method indicated that the soils have high suction values, signifying that they have a tendency to swell upon wetting depending on plasticity of particular soil.The depth of the active zone was measured as a function of moisture variations in the profiles during two extreme weather conditions. The active zone depth was found to be between 1.0 and 2.0 m deep. Procedures to assess models to predict swell in the case study were outlined together with their validity.Vertical and horizontal spatial variability in selected soil properties was defined using geostatistical techniques through the fitting of variogram. The indicator semivariograms of both clay contents and free swell gave a range of 20 m horizontally and 1.0 m vertically, with the horizontal variograms exhibiting greater ranges than the dipping variograms.Physical conditions of the surveyed properties in the area confirmed that building damages are associated with poor building materials triggered by expansive soils. In support of the obtained data, the actual behaviour of the foundations was supplemented with prototypes of strip foundations whose performances were monitored over a period of four months. Finally, suggested are the ways forward to solve the problem of foundation on expansive soil

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2008. , xx, 196 p.
Trita-JOB PHD, ISSN 1650-9501 ; 1011
Keyword [en]
Expansive soils; soil properties; potential swell; smectite (montmorillonite); multivariate statistics; geo-statistics; spatial variability; lightweight structures
National Category
Civil Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-9244OAI: diva2:37732
Public defence
2008-10-21, F3, KTH, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
QC 20100824Available from: 2008-10-13 Created: 2008-10-13 Last updated: 2010-08-24Bibliographically approved

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