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A new robuist device for the indentifiaction of potentiaol slip surfaces

Lookup NU author(s): Aziz Akbar, Professor Barry Clarke


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Since landslides are responsible for considerable losses of both money and lives, the study of their causes and remedial measures has been a focus of research all around the world. Remedial measures can be designed only when the potential zones of weakness resulting into landslides have been located. The potential zones of weakness are those within which the shear strength is low. A low shear strength can be directly measured or can be related to a high water content, a low density or a reduced stiffness. Since the zones of weakness can occur at any depth and vary in thickness, there is a need to be able to detect them using an in-situ device that can be rapidly deployed across a slope and is sensitive enough to measure these properties. A new dilatometer, called the Newcastle Flat Rigid Dilatometer (NDMT), has been developed for use in a greater variety of soils, which can measure the in-situ soil properties with sufficient accuracy. This probe is more robust than the Marchetti dilatometer because it uses a rigid piston instead of a flexible membrane to load the soil. It is also designed to operate in areas of difficult access. The new dilatometer uses a Hall effect transducer and a magnet system to measure the displacement, which is quite simple, durable and produces repeatable and reproducible data with no hysteresis. The displacement and pressure transducers allow more control during in-situ testing and produce applied pressure-displacement curves which can be interpreted to produce soil strength and stiffness parameters. The NDMT is more sensitive than the Marchetti dilatometer because of the instrumented rigid plate and can therefore be used to detect variations in soil strength, density or stiffness with depth more accurately. This paper will describe the instrument and how it can be used to detect the variation in soil properties.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Clarke B; Akbar A

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 3rd International Conference on Landslides

Year of Conference: 2002