Stress-induced volume reduction of isolated pores in wet soil

Ghezzehei, Teamrat A. and Or, Dani

Water Resources Research, vol. 39(3) , 2003.


This study deals with deformation of small pores in wet soils of relatively high bulk density such as in the final settlement phase of tilled or disturbed soils. Pore deformation was modeled by volume reduction of spherical voids embedded in a homogenous soil matrix. External constant stress and overburden were considered as steady stresses because the change in interaggregate contact stress under overburden is slow compared to the associated strain rate. In contrast, stress due to passage of farm implements was considered as transient because the rate of change of interaggregate stress is comparable with the strain rate. Rheological behavior of the soil matrix under steady and transient stresses was obtained from independent rheological measurements. Experimental data from the literature were used to illustrate the model. Model predictions of relative density compared favorably with experimental data for constant stress application as well as for constant strain rate experiments. Results showed that the rate of densification decreased as the relative density approached unity (complete pore closure) and the relative stress required for driving densification increased exponentially with increasing relative density.