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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 40 No. 3, p. 462-465
    Received: June 10, 1975
    Accepted: Feb 18, 1976

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Soil Shear Strength Variation in Soils of a Batavia Silt Loam Mapping Unit1

  1. P. L. M. Veneman,
  2. J. Bouma and
  3. T. B. Edil2



Soil shear strength values obtained in situ in soils in a mapping unit of the Batavia silt loam (Mollic Hapludalf, fine silty, mixed, mesic) with the vane shear test for a wide range of natural moisture contents were compared with values obtained with the widely used unconfined compression test in the laboratory. The comparison was made to evaluate the tests for soil survey characterization, to express soil variability within an important mapping unit and to define functional relationships between shear strength and different soil properties.

The vane shear test was preferred because: (i) tests required less time and involved less cost, (ii) tests could be made in relatively dry, pedal soil where the laboratory method did not work, and (iii) test results of both methods were not significantly different. Graphical representation of shear strength (X) as a function of the moisture content (θw = percent by weight) allowed an estimate of the minimum shear strength of the studied soils at any natural moisture content. A more accurate estimate of shear strength could be made by considering also the liquid limit (LL) and plasticity index (PI) of the soil material in a multiple regression equation as follows: X = −3.84 −0.18θw + 0.47LL −0.4PI. Clay content and bulk density were insignificantly correlated. This type of analysis may provide quantitative data for soil survey interpretations.

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