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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Zelong YuORCiD,
Dr Ross Stirling,
Dr Colin Davie,
Professor Stephanie Glendinning
This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Institution of Civil Engineers, 2021.
For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
This paper presents a desiccation crack monitoring campaign conducted on a full-scale, vegetated infrastructure embankment subjected to one-year of seasonally variable weather. The field survey involved direct measurement of naturally developed, annually reoccuring cracks in a heavily instrumented, clay fill embankment (BIONICS, Newcastle University). Transient crack morphology was captured in terms of opening width, length and depth, in addition to meteorological and near-surface soil hydrological conditions. In order to assess any correlation between crack development and weather-driven changes in near surface soil conditions, the volume of cracks was estimated using an empirically derived equation. This work identified crack behaviour in four stages: initiation, expansion, contraction and closure. These stages and the distribution of cracks on the slope are closely related to prevailing atmospheric conditions, namely wind direction, relative humidity, precipitation and potential evapotranspiration. These ultimately govern the soil hydrological conditions in the near-surface, as manifested in the presented matric potential and volumetric water content data. Linearly descrete cracks are shown to form under such conditions in contrary to the polygonal patterns typically reported under laboratory conditions. Crack length growth terminates prior to full volumetric maturation with crack depth dominating the dynamic response regardless of overall crack size.
Author(s): Yu Z, Eminue O.O, Stirling R, Davie C, Glendinning S
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Géotechnique Letters
Print publication date: 01/03/2021
Online publication date: 13/01/2021
Acceptance date: 08/01/2021
Date deposited: 15/02/2021
ISSN (electronic): 2045-2543
Publisher: Institution of Civil Engineers
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