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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract - Soil Physics

Relationships among Coefficient of Linear Extensibility and Clay Fractions in Expansive, Stoney Soils


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 70 No. 6, p. 1983-1990
    Received: Feb 8, 2006

    * Corresponding author(s): kbrye@uark.edu
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  1. R. Vaughta,
  2. Kristofor R. Brye *b and
  3. D. M. Millerb
  1. a USDA-NRCS, 200 HWY 70 East Suite 2, Glenwood, AR 71943
    b Dep. of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences, Univ. of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701


An expansive soil is any soil that has a potential for shrinking and swelling under changing moisture conditions. Structural damage to homes (i.e., walls and foundations) due to expansive soils is costly to repair and may be somewhat avoidable if soil properties, such as clay content and the coefficient of linear extensibility (COLE), are investigated. The objectives of this study were to examine the relationships among COLE, clay fractions, and coarse-fragment content and determine the usefulness of COLE as an indicator of structural damage in expansive and stoney soils. Sixteen individual homeowner sites were selected for sampling in the Fayetteville area of Washington County, Arkansas based on a homeowner questionnaire and visual inspection. COLE was determined based on the rod method from the length change of a moist and oven-dry soil-paste rod (COLErod). Measured COLErod values were adjusted for coarse-fragment content (COLEadj) by multiplying COLErod by the volume fraction of fine-earth plus pores, yielding a 0.003 unit reduction (P < 0.001) in COLErod, but no change in hazard-class rating. COLErod was positively correlated (P < 0.001) with total (r = 0.88), coarse (r = 0.55), and medium plus fine (r = 0.79) clay fractions. However, COLErod adjustments for coarse-fragment content did not improve linear relationships between COLErod and clay fractions. The summation of soil profile COLErod values for a site was a reasonable predictor, while the average COLErod value for a site and COLEadj were poor predictors of home structural damage. Results demonstrate that COLErod is a reasonably reliable predictor of potential home structural damage.

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