Volume changes in undisturbed clay profiles in western Canada

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Journal titleCanadian Geotechnical Journal
Pages2742; # of pages: 16
Subjectclay soils; humid climates; properties of soils; evaporation; climat humide; caracteristique du sol; evaporation
AbstractAs part of an over-all study of the performance of building foundations in highly plastic soil areas of western Canada, the Division of Building Research has been measuring ground movements and changes in soil moisture conditions in grass- covered, undisturbed soil profiles under climatic conditions ranging from sub-humid to semi-arid. Results of measurements begun in 1951 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and more recently those in Regina, Eston, and Tisdale, Saskatchewan, are reported. Results of a theoretical soil moisture depletion calculation, based on Thornthwaite's potential evapo-transpiration concept, are presented. It is proposed as a more rational way of measuring the vegetation-climate factor in humid to sub-humid climates than simply comparing air temperature and precipitation with long-term averages. Empirical relationships are suggested between calculated soil moisture depletion, the depth of free water table, and the depth of frost penetration under similar thermal conditions but different soil moisture conditions. Shrinkage in situ of undisturbed, unsaturated soils at temperatures well below 32 degrees F has been observed and is attributed to thermal air-void volume change.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedNo
NRC number7588
NPARC number20377483
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Record identifier3344e55e-4a47-46cd-bb64-511eb33e6fc4
Record created2012-07-24
Record modified2016-05-09
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