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Japanese Geotechnical Society Special Publication The 15th Asian Regional Conference on

Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering

The static and dynamic characteristic of undisturbed residual soils under drying-wetting cycles

Mohammad Muntaha i), Ria Asih Aryani Soemitro ii) and Dwa Desa Warnana iii)

i) Department of Civil Engineering, Institut Teknologi Kalimantan, Balikpapan, Indonesia

ii) Department of Civil Engineering, Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember, Surabaya, Indonesia
iii) Department of Geophysics, Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember, Surabaya, Indonesia


In tropical volcanic countries such as Indonesia, residual soil covers most of the islands; as the weathering process of
igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks is still actively undergone due to the tropical climate. The presented
objective of this paper is the effect of drying-wetting cycles repetition on the static and dynamic properties of three
natural residual soils.
The laboratory and field test results from three residual soils show that the low void ratio and high soil cohesion
occured due to the increasing of clay fraction. Drying-wetting cycles repetition reduces the void ratio, negative
pore-water pressure, cohesion and internal friction angle of soils. The cohesion of three natural residual soils after
the sixth cycle reduces 8,70%, 9,09% and 1,5% respectively. On the other hand, the unit weight of soil and shear
modulus (GUBE) increase with the number of cycles. Shear modulus (GUBE) after the sixth cycle for all residual soils
increases 25,46%, 24,15% and 11,25% respectively. As the soil densities and void ratio were increase, the soil
cohesion were decrease.

Keywords: residual soil, drying-wetting cycles, void ratio, unit weight, cohesion, shear modulus.

1 INTRODUCTION generally needed for dynamic analysis, i.e.: machine

vibration analysis, high explosion and earthquake,
Indonesia geological position, which is passed
attenuation of earthquake wave propagation and also
through by 2 (two) early world mountain lanes
driven pile effect analysis.
(mediterranean mountain at west, circum-pacific at east
Previous researches showed that residual soil has
and several main world plates), causes many active
unique characteristics, depended on geological
volcanoes exist in Indonesia as well as prone to
condition, environment condition, time period and
earthquake. Indonesia geographical position, which
climate. Due to increase of constructions laid on
located on the equator line and also between Pacific and
residual soil and many land areas in Indonesia that
Indian ocean, causes the tropical climate (dry and rainy
covered by residual soil, it is important to conduct a
research on static and dynamic soil properties. This
Rock transformation into soil particles is generally
research focused on static and dynamic soil properties
induced by high temperature difference along day and
induced by clay fraction, water content changes and
night, cyclic dry and rainy season and certain nature
cyclic repetition of drying-wetting. The research was
forces. Residual soil is weathered in their own original
conducted on 3 (three) different locations at East Java
place, meanwhile the transported soil due to wind and
province, Indonesia.
river flow, is defined as sediment soil. Saroso (2000)
predicted that more than 53 % of Indonesia land area is
covered by residual soil.
Physical (unit volume weight, specific gravity, void An experimental research was conducted at field
ratio, degree of saturation) and mechanical (cohesion and laboratory. Soil sampling was conducted on field
and internal angle friction) soil properties concepts are and the physical, mechanical and dynamic soil
important when performing several designing, i.e.: soil properties were investigated in laboratory. These
bearing capacity, slope stability analysis, foundation investigations were conducted by standard equipment at
design, excavation and embankment, dam and also laboratory. Dynamic soil properties were tested by
others related constructions. Dynamic soil properties using bender element.
consist of shear modulus and damping ratio are 591
Soil was sampled by shelby tube with 7.62 cm in fraction of Mojokerto was 25.81%; Jember was
diameter, at depth 0.5 - 1 m from original ground level. 12.58%; and Malang was 7.81%. For void ratio
To maintain the original water content, upper part of comparison, Malang has 1.963 in void ratio or 34%
shelby tube was covered by liquid wax. These samples greater than Mojokertos void ratio. Jembers void ratio
were investigated for physical, mechanical and dynamic was 1.464 which 25% less than Malangs void ratio.
soil properties at initial condition. Soil sampling It could be seen that clay fraction induces the soil
procedure applies the Indonesian standard SNI 03- void ratio. High clay fraction fills the gaps between soil
4148.1-2000. The undisturbed and disturbed soils are pore and performs particle cementation, therefore the
sampled from Jember, Mojokerto and Malang. soil density will be increased. On the other hand, due to
Physical soil properties test consists of gravimetric- low clay fraction, Malang soil has high void ratio and in
volumetric test and soil grain size analysis (ASTM D loose condition.
422-63 and ASTM D 1140-54). Dynamic soil Mojokerto soil cohesion at initial condition was
properties were investigated by using bender element. 0.203 kg/cm2, the cohesion was twice greater than
Soil sample dimension is cylinder having 4.91 cm in Malang soil cohesion (c = 0.140 kg/cm2) and three
diameter and 10.92 in height. Due to limited ability of times greater than Jember soil cohesion (c = 0.08
equipment, the soil samples were prepared in the form kg/cm2).
of cylinder having 3.81 cm in diameter and 3.00 cm in The overall evidences showed that clay fraction
height. Shear modulus test was conducted by using influences the soil cohesion. In comparison with
ASTM D 2845-95. Jember and Malang soil, Mojokerto soil had the highest
Wetting process was conducted by adding water into soil cohesion as well as the highest clay fraction (23%).
the samples and left for 3 (three) days to fulfill the Das (1985) expressed that soil cohesion mainly depends
homogenized condition. The water quantity in wetting on inter-particle stress and surface particle cohesion.
process is as follows: wi + 25% (wsat- wi); wi + 50% Inter-particle soil stress is determined by coarse grain
(wsat - wi); wi + 75% (wsat -wi); wi + 100% (wsat - wi), soil stress, while cohesion is determined by fine
which wi is initial water content and wsat is the saturated fraction (clay and silt). Fine fraction (clay and silt)
water content. could enhance the soil stiffness and shear strength.
Increase of stiffness and soil shear strength induced the
3 RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS low soil strain during loading process.
Form Table 1, it was also seen that Mojokerto soil
3.1 Initial condition
had the highest shear modulus (GUBE) among the others.
The result of physical, mechanical and dynamic soil
Mojokertos soil shear modulus had 10 % greater than
properties on 3 (three) residual soils at Mojokerto,
Jember soil (GUBE = 144,29 MPa) and also 49.04 %
Jember and Malang is presented on Table 1.
greater than Malang soil. It could be seen that
Table 1. Mechanical soil properties at initial condition.
Mojokerto soil had the highest clay fraction as well as
the highest soil shear modulus (GUBE). As it was stated
Type of test Jember Malang Mojokerto by Munirwansyah (2002) that orientation, particle
composition and plasticity (clay mineralogy) factors
1. Water content (w, %) 34,32 61,04 39,73 would influence the soil density, hence it influences the
shear wave propagation.
2. Degree of saturation (Sr, %) 62,19 72,05 82,12
3. Unit weight (t, gr/cm ) 1,444 1,233 1,625 3.2 Cyclic drying-wetting influence
4. Specific gravity (Gs) 2,648 2,328 2,661 3.2.1 Physical and mechanical soil properties
5. Void ratio (e) 1,464 1,963 1,289 Fig. 1A was relationship of void ratio (e) and
drying-wetting cyclic repetition at 3 (three) residual
6. Clay fraction (%) 12,58 7,81 25,81
soils. Due to cyclic drying wetting, void ratio of
7. Sand fraction (%) 33,21 39,13 22,45 Malang and Mojokerto soil is decreased. From 1st cycle
8. Cohesion (c, kPa) 8 14 20,3
into 2nd cycle, the void ratio (e) decreased 3.28 %.; 2nd
cycle to 3rd cycle decreased 10.71 % and from 4th cycle
9. Internal angle friction ( ) 44,42 12,90 34,91 to 6th cycle decreased 2.92 %.
10. Vs From 3rd cycle to 6th cycle, void ratio of Mojokerto
(m/s) 308,67 256,28 309,63
soil became lower. The void ratio in 1st cycle was 1.304
11. GUBE
(MPa) 144,29 81,90 157,69 and in 2nd cycle was 1.302. On 3rd cycle the void ratio
was 1.292 and on 6th cycle the void ratio was 1.257.
Source: Laboratory test result Therefore, the void ratio decrease 3.69 % from initial
condition to 6th cycle.
Soil grain size analysis showed that sand fraction The void ratio (e) evolution due to cyclic repetition
dominated the overall soil grain size distributions. Clay on Jember soil could be seen on Fig. 1A. It could be

summarized that cycles of drying-wetting affect the cohesion although the soil density is increased. As it
void ratio. was expressed by Guan et al. (2010), due to drying, the
soil cohesion is increased, but the soil stiffness is low.
On the other hand, due to wetting, the soil cohesion is
decreased and behave like brittle soil structure.

3.2.2 Dynamic soil properties

Relationship between cyclic drying-wetting with
shear modulus is presented on Fig. 1D. It could be seen
that during cycles, soil shear modulus (GUBE) was
increased. As an example, the soil shear modulus at 1st,
2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th cycle are 149.110 kPa, 150.778 kPa,
151.350 kPa, 152.926 kPa and 151.210 kPa. It
increased about 1.39 % from initial condition to 6th
The 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th cycle induced the Malang
soil shear modulus (GUBE) to be increased about 2.34%;
2.33%; 1.99%; and 1.57%; Jember soil was 8.87%;
7.87%; 7.51%; and 7.23%, Mojokerto soil was 2.27%;
0.53%; 0.4%; and 0.42%. It could be seen that the
increase level would be reduced within the cycles.
However, the increment were constant after the 4th
Fig.1. Influence of drying-wetting cyclic repetition on void ratio, cycle.
unit weight, cohesion and shear modulus at 3 (three) residual
Drying-wetting cycle induces the increase of soil
shear modulus (GUBE). Similar with the preceding
discussion that cycles affect the increase of soil density.
If the drying-wetting condition is defined as
As the soil are dense and stiff, the wave would be faster
loading-unloading process, thus during cycles, the void
ratio would be decreased. This phenomenon was due to to be propagated since the soil shear modulus is the
function of wave velocity. Therefore, the increase of
the initial soil condition has no historical loading,
wave velocity would induce the increase of soil shear
therefore the soil particle and orientation would be in
modulus (GUBE). It could be summarized that the soil
irregular composition. This result was similar with
shear modulus (GUBE) of residual soil is mostly
Soemitro and Saing (2000), Yusdiantoro (2001), and
Asmaranto (2001). influenced by the soil density. As it was stated by
Munirwansyah (2002) that adding more fine fraction on
Fig. 1A and 1C shows the relationship of cohesion
and void ratio due to cyclic repetition of drying-wetting sandy soil at optimum condition would increase the
soil density and unit weight, hence the soil shear
in Mojokerto, Jember and Malang. The drying-wetting
modulus would also increase as well.
cycle affects the decrease of soil cohesion as well as the
decrease of void ratio. At initial condition, cohesion of
Mojokerto soil was 23 kPa and drying-wetting cycle 4 CONCLUSION
application (2nd cycle, 4th cycle and 6th cycle) declined The drying-wetting cycles mainly influenced on soil
the soil cohesion into 23 kPa, 22 kPa, and 21 kPa; void ratio (e). The cycles induced structural changes or
whilst the void ratio was 1.304; 1.292; 1.246; and 1.257. deformation of soil porosity and finally would also
This phenomenon also occurred on Malang and Jember influence the soil void ratio (e). Soil having low clay
soil. fraction and low density at drying-wetting cycles,
Increase of dry density and decrease of void ratio would be vulnerable to experience any changes or
generally affected the increase of soil cohesion. It might deformation on its porosity.
be caused by the fine particles reduction due to wetting In terms of dynamic soil properties, the higher fine
process, fine particles were dissolved out by the water, fraction on sandy soil would increase the soil density
thus the soil has no plenty of cementation. There was and unit weight, thus the soil shear modulus would also
also soil cracks when performing drying condition and increase as well.
it would also affect the dissolved fine particle during
wetting process. Crack is vulnerable to water 5 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
infiltration and dissolving the fine fraction. In addition,
The authors would like to express the gratitude to
strengthened repetition (during drying process) and
Directorate General of Higher Education Indonesia
weakness repetition (during wetting process) creates
(DIKTI) and LPPM - ITS for the research scheme fund.
reduction of inter-particle bonding (brittle soil
structure). This was predicted as the decreased of soil

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