Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 314

Assessment of Soil Contamination on the Content of Macro and Microelements and the Quality of Grass Pea Seeds (Lathyrus sativus L.)

Comparative research has been conducted to allow us to determine the content of macro and microelements in the vegetative and reproductive organs of grass pea and the quality of grass pea seeds, as well as to identify the possibility of grass pea growth on soils contaminated by heavy metals. The experiment was conducted on an agricultural field subjected to contamination from the Non-Ferrous-Metal Works (MFMW) near Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The experimental plots were situated at different distances of 0.5 km and 8 km, respectively, from the source of pollution. On reaching commercial ripeness the grass pea plants were gathered. The composition of the macro and microelements in plant materials (roots, stems, leaves, seeds), and the dry matter content, sugars, proteins, fats and ash contained in the grass pea seeds were determined. Translocation factors (TF) and bioaccumulation factor (BCF) were also determined. The quantitative measurements were carried out through inductively-coupled plasma (ICP). The grass pea plant can successfully be grown on soils contaminated by heavy metals. Soil pollution with heavy metals does not affect the quality of the grass pea seeds. The seeds of the grass pea contain significant amounts of nutrients (K, P, Cu, Fe Mn, Zn) and protein (23.18-29.54%). The distribution of heavy metals in the organs of the grass pea has a selective character, which reduces in the following order: leaves > roots > stems > seeds. BCF and TF values were greater than one suggesting efficient accumulation in the above ground parts of grass pea plant. Grass pea is a plant that is tolerant to heavy metals and can be referred to the accumulator plants. The results provide valuable information about the chemical and nutritional composition of the seeds of the grass pea grown on contaminated soils in Bulgaria. The high content of macro and microelements and the low concentrations of toxic elements in the grass pea grown in contaminated soil make it possible to use the seeds of the grass pea as animal feed.

Dynamic Study on the Evaluation of the Settlement of Soil under Sea Dam

In order to study the variation in settlement of soil under a dyke dam, the modelisation in our study consists of applying an imposed displacement at the base of the mass of soil (consisting of a saturated sand). The imposed displacement follows the evolution of acceleration of the earthquake of Boumerdes 2003 in Algeria. Moreover, the gravity load is taken into consideration by taking account the specific weight of the materials constituting the dyke. The results obtained show that the gravity loads have a direct influence on the evolution of settlement, especially at the center of the dyke where these loads are higher.

Effects of Oilfield Water Treated by Electroflocculation and Reverse Osmosis in a Typical Brazilian Semiarid Soil

Produced water (PW), which is water extracted along with oil, is the largest waste stream in the oil and gas industry. With the proper treatment, this wastewater can be used in agricultural irrigation. This study evaluated the effects the application of PW treated by electroflocculation (EF) and combined electroflocculation-reverse osmosis (EF-RO) on soil salinity and sodification parameters. Excessive sodium levels in PW treated by EF may affect soil structural stability and plant growth, and tends to accumulate in upper layers, displacing the nutrient K to deeper layers of the soil profile. PW treated by EF-RO did not promote salinization and soil sodification, indicating that this combined technique may be a viable alternative for oily water treatment aiming at irrigation use in semiarid regions.

Assessment of Pier Foundations for Onshore Wind Turbines in Non-cohesive Soil

In non-cohesive soil, onshore wind turbines are often found on shallow foundations with a circular or octagonal shape. For the current generation of wind turbines, shallow foundations with very large breadths are required. The foundation support costs thus represent a considerable portion of the total construction costs. Therefore, an economic optimization of the type of foundation is highly desirable. A conceivable alternative foundation type would be a pier foundation, which combines the load transfer over the foundation area at the pier base with the transfer of horizontal loads over the shaft surface of the pier. The present study aims to evaluate the load-bearing behavior of a pier foundation based on comprehensive parametric studies. Thereby, three-dimensional numerical simulations of both pier and shallow foundations are developed. The evaluation of the results focuses on the rotational stiffnesses of the proposed soil-foundation systems. In the design, the initial rotational stiffness is decisive for consideration of natural frequencies, whereas the rotational secant stiffness for a maximum load is decisive for serviceability considerations. A systematic analysis of the results at different load levels shows that the application of the typical pier foundation is presumably limited to relatively small onshore wind turbines.

Selenium Content in Agricultural Soils and Wheat from the Balkan Peninsula

Selenium (Se) is an essential micro-nutrient for human and animals but it is highly toxic. Its organic compounds play an important role in biochemistry and nutrition of the cells. Concentration levels of this element in the different regions of the world vary considerably. This study aimed to compare the availability and levels of the Se in some rural areas of the Balkan Peninsula and relationship with the concentrations of other trace elements. For this purpose soil samples and wheat grains from different regions of Bulgaria, Serbia, Nord Macedonia, Romania, and Greece situated far from large industrial centers have been analyzed. The main methods for their determination were the atomic spectral techniques – atomic absorption and plasma atomic emission. As a result of this study, data on microelements levels from the main grain-producing regions of the Balkan Peninsula were determined and systematized. The presented results confirm the low levels of Se in this region: 0.222– 0.962 in soils and 0.001 - 0.005 in wheat grains and require measures to offset the effect of this deficiency.

A Review on Geomembrane Characteristics and Application in Geotechnical Engineering

This paper represents the basic idea and mechanisms associated with the durability of geomembranes and discusses the factors influencing the service life and temperature of geomembrane liners. Geomembrane durability is stated as field performance and laboratory test outcomes under various conditions. Due to the high demand of geomembranes as landfill barriers and their crucial role in sensitive projects, sufficient service life of geomembranes is very important, therefore in this paper, the durability, the effect of temperature on geomembrane and the role of this type of reinforcement in different types of soil will be discussed. Also, the role of geomembrane in the earthquake will be considered in the last part of the paper.

On the Fixed Rainfall Intensity: Effects on Overland Flow Resistance, Shear Velocity and on Soil Erosion

Raindrops and overland flow both are erosive parameters but they do not act by the same way. The overland flow alone tends to shear the soil horizontally and concentrates into rills. In the presence of rain, the soil particles are removed from the soil surface in the form of a uniform sheet layer. In addition to this, raindrops falling on the flow roughen the water and soil surface depending on the flow depth, and retard the velocity, therefore influence shear velocity and Manning’s factor. To investigate this part, agricultural sandy soil, rainfall simulator and a laboratory soil tray of 0.2x1x3 m were the base of this work. Five overland flow depths of 0; 3.28; 4.28; 5.16; 5.60; 5.80 mm were generated under a rainfall intensity of 217.2 mm/h. Sediment concentration control is based on the proportionality of depth/microtopography. The soil loose is directly related to the presence of rain splash on thin sheet flow. The effect of shear velocity on sediment concentration is limited by the value of 5.28 cm/s. In addition to this, the rain splash reduces the soil roughness by breaking the soil crests. The rainfall intensity is the major factor influencing depth and soil erosion. In the presence of rainfall, the shear velocity of the flow is due to two simultaneous effects. The first, which is horizontal, comes from the flow and the second, vertical, is due to the raindrops.

Effect of Temperature on the Water Retention Capacity of Liner Materials

Mixtures of sand and clay are frequently used to serve for specific purposes in several engineering practices. In environmental engineering, liner layers and cover layers are common for controlling waste disposal facilities. These layers are exposed to moisture and temperature fluctuation specially when existing in unsaturated condition. The relationship between soil suction and water content for these materials is essential for understanding their unsaturated behavior and properties such as retention capacity and unsaturated follow (hydraulic conductivity). This study is aimed at investigating retention capacity for two sand-natural expansive clay mixtures (15% (C15) and 30% (C30) expansive clay) at two ambient temperatures within the range of 5 -50 °C. Soil water retention curves (SWRC) for these materials were determined at these two ambient temperatures using different salt solutions for a wide range of suction (up to 200MPa). The results indicate that retention capacity of C15 mixture underwent significant changes due to temperature variations. This effect tends to be less visible when the clay fraction is doubled (C30). In addition, the overall volume change is marginally affected by high temperature within the range considered in this study.

Numerical Investigations on Group Piles’ Lateral Bearing Capacity Considering Interaction of Soil and Structure

In this research, the behavior of monopiles, under lateral loads, was investigated with vertical and oblique piles by Finite Element Method. In engineering practice when soil-pile interaction comes to the picture some simplifications are applied to reduce the design time. As a simplified replacement of soil and pile interaction analysis, pile could be replaced by a column. The height of the column would be equal to the free length of the pile plus a portion of the embedded length of it. One of the important factors studied in this study was that columns with an equivalent length (free length plus a part of buried depth) could be used instead of soil and pile modeling. The results of the analysis show that the more internal friction angle of the soil increases, the more the bearing capacity of the soil is achieved. This additional length is 6 to 11 times of the pile diameter in dense soil although in loose sandy soil this range might increase.

Influence of Plastic Waste Reinforcement on Compaction and Consolidation Behavior of Silty Soil

In recent decades, the amount of solid waste production has been rising. In the meantime, plastic waste is one of the major parts of urban solid waste, so, recycling plastic waste from water bottles has become a serious challenge in the whole world. The experimental program includes the study of the effect of waste plastic fibers on maximum dry density (MDD), optimum moisture content (OMC) with different sizes and contents. Also, one dimensional consolidation tests were carried out to evaluate the benefit of utilizing randomly distributed waste plastics fiber to improve the engineering behavior of a tested soils. Silty soil specimens were prepared and tested at five different percentages of plastic waste content (i.e. 0.25%, 0.50%, 0.75%, 1% and 1.25% by weight of the parent soil). The size of plastic chips used, are 4 mm, 8 mm and 12 mm long and 4 mm in width. The results show that with the addition of waste plastic fibers, the MDD and OMC and also the compressibility of soil decrease significantly.

Investigation of Slope Stability in Gravel Soils in Unsaturated State

In this paper, we consider the stability of a slope of 10 meters in silty gravel soils with modeling in the Geostudio Software.  we intend to use the parameters of the volumetric water content and suction dependent permeability and provides relationships and graphs using the parameters obtained from gradation tests and Atterberg’s limits. Also, different conditions of the soil will be investigated, including: checking the factor of safety and deformation rates and pore water pressure in drained, non-drained and unsaturated conditions, as well as the effect of reducing the water level on other parameters. For this purpose, it is assumed that the groundwater level is at a depth of 2 meters from the ground.  Then, with decreasing water level, the safety factor of slope stability was investigated and it was observed that with decreasing water level, the safety factor increased.

Prediction of the Lateral Bearing Capacity of Short Piles in Clayey Soils Using Imperialist Competitive Algorithm-Based Artificial Neural Networks

Prediction of the ultimate bearing capacity of piles (Qu) is one of the basic issues in geotechnical engineering. So far, several methods have been used to estimate Qu, including the recently developed artificial intelligence methods. In recent years, optimization algorithms have been used to minimize artificial network errors, such as colony algorithms, genetic algorithms, imperialist competitive algorithms, and so on. In the present research, artificial neural networks based on colonial competition algorithm (ANN-ICA) were used, and their results were compared with other methods. The results of laboratory tests of short piles in clayey soils with parameters such as pile diameter, pile buried length, eccentricity of load and undrained shear resistance of soil were used for modeling and evaluation. The results showed that ICA-based artificial neural networks predicted lateral bearing capacity of short piles with a correlation coefficient of 0.9865 for training data and 0.975 for test data. Furthermore, the results of the model indicated the superiority of ICA-based artificial neural networks compared to back-propagation artificial neural networks as well as the Broms and Hansen methods.

Critical Heights of Sloped Unsupported Trenches in Unsaturated Sand

Workers are often required to enter unsupported trenches during the construction process, which may present serious risks. Trench failures can result in death or damage to adjacent properties, therefore trenches should be excavated with extreme precaution. Excavation work is often done in unsaturated soils, where the critical height (i.e. maximum depth that can be excavated without failure) of unsupported trenches can be more reliably estimated by considering the influence of matric suction. In this study, coupled stress/pore-water pressure analyses are conducted to investigate the critical height of sloped unsupported trenches considering the influence of pore-water pressure redistribution caused by excavating. Four different wall slopes (1.5V:1H, 2V:1H, 3V:1H, and 90°) and a vertical trench with the top 0.3 m sloped 1:1 were considered in the analyses with multiple depths of the ground water table in a sand. For comparison, the critical heights were also estimated using the limit equilibrium method for the same excavation scenarios used in the coupled analyses.

Heavy Metal Reduction in Plant Using Soil Amendment
This study investigated the influence of limestone and sepiolite on heavy metals accumulation in the soil and soybean. The soil was synthesized to contaminate with zinc 150 mg/kg, copper 100 mg/kg, and cadmium 1 mg/kg. The contaminated soil was mixed with limestone and sepiolite at the ratio of 1:0, 0:1, 1:1, and 2:1. The amount of soil modifier added to soil was 0.2%, 0.4%, and 0.8%. The metals determination was performed on soil both before and after soybean planting and in the root, shoot, and seed of soybean after harvesting. The study was also on metal translocate from root to seed and on bioaccumulation factor. Using of limestone and sepiolite resulted in a reduction of metals accumulated in soybean. For soil containing a high concentration of copper, cadmium, and zinc, a mixture of limestone and sepiolite (1:1) was recommended to mix with soil with the amount of 0.2%. Zinc could translocate from root to seed more than copper, and cadmium. From studying the movement of metals from soil to accumulate in soybean, the result was that soybean could absorb the highest amount of cadmium, followed by zinc, and copper, respectively.
Determination of Soil Loss by Erosion in Different Land Covers Categories and Slope Classes in Bovilla Watershed, Tirana, Albania

As a sediment production mechanism, soil erosion is the main environmental threat to the Bovilla watershed, including the decline of water quality of the Bovilla reservoir that provides drinking water to Tirana city (the capital of Albania). Therefore, an experiment with 25 erosion plots for soil erosion monitoring has been set up since June 2017. The aim was to determine the soil loss on plot and watershed scale in Bovilla watershed (Tirana region) for implementation of soil and water protection measures or payments for ecosystem services (PES) programs. The results of erosion monitoring for the period June 2017 - May 2018 showed that the highest values of surface runoff were noted in bare land of 38829.91 liters on slope of 74% and the lowest values in forest land of 12840.6 liters on slope of 64% while the highest values of soil loss were found in bare land of 595.15 t/ha on slope of 62% and lowest values in forest land of 18.99 t/ha on slope of 64%. These values are much higher than the average rate of soil loss in the European Union (2.46 ton/ha/year). In the same sloping class, the soil loss was reduced from orchard or bare land to the forest land, and in the same category of land use, the soil loss increased with increasing land slope. It is necessary to conduct chemical analyses of sediments to determine the amount of chemical elements leached out of the soil and end up in the reservoir of Bovilla. It is concluded that PES programs should be implemented for rehabilitation of sub-watersheds Ranxe, Vilez and Zall-Bastar of the Bovilla watershed with valuable conservation practices.

The Use of Microorganisms in the Bioleaching of Soils Polluted with Heavy Metals

This paper shows researches in order to extract Cr, Cu and Ni from the polluted soils. Research is based on preliminary studies regarding the usage of Thiobacillus ferrooxidans bacterium (9K medium) for bioleaching of soil polluted with heavy metal (Cu, Cr and Ni). The microorganisms (Thiobacillus ferooxidans) selected directly from polluted soil samples were used in this experimental work. Soil samples used in the experimental research were taken from an area polluted with heavy metals from Romania. The soil samples are subjected to the cleaning process using the 9K medium solution (20 mL and 40 mL, respectively), stirred 200 rpm for 20 hours at a controlled temperature (30 ˚C). During the experiment (0, 2, 4, 8 and 20 h), liquid samples have been extracted and analyzed using the Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer AA-6800 (AAS) in order to determine the Cr, Cu and Ni concentration. Experiments led to the conclusion that these soils can be depolluted by bioleaching, being a biological treatment method involving the use of microorganisms to favor the extraction of Cr, Cu and Ni from polluted soils.

A Risk Assessment for the Small Hive Beetle Based on Meteorological Standard Measurements

The Small Hive Beetle, Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) is a parasite for honey bee colonies, Apis mellifera, and was recently introduced to the European continent, accidentally. Based on the literature, a model was developed by using regional meteorological variables (daily values of minimum, maximum and mean air temperature as well as mean soil temperature at 50 mm depth) to calculate the time-point of hive invasion by A. tumida in springtime, the development duration of pupae as well as the number of generations of A. tumida per year. Luxembourg was used as a test region for our model for 2005 to 2013. The model output indicates a successful surviving of the Small Hive Beetle in Luxembourg with two up to three generations per year. Additionally, based on our meteorological data sets a first migration of SHB to apiaries can be expected from mid of March up to April. Our approach can be transferred easily to other countries to estimate the risk potential for a successful introduction and spreading of A. tumida in Western Europe.

A Small-Scale Flexible Test Bench for the Investigation of Fertigation Strategies in Soilless Culture
In soilless culture, the management of the nutrient solution is the most important aspect for crop growing. Fertigation dose, frequency and nutrient concentration must be planned with the objective of reaching an optimal crop growth by limiting the utilized resources and the associated costs. The definition of efficient fertigation strategies is a complex problem since fertigation requirements vary on the basis of different factors, and crops are sensitive to small variations on fertigation parameters. To the best of author knowledge, a small-scale test bench that is flexible for both nutrient solution preparation and precise irrigation is currently missing, limiting the investigations in standard practices for soilless culture. Starting from the analysis of the state of the art, this paper proposes a small-scale system that is potentially able to concurrently test different fertigation strategies. The system will be designed and implemented throughout a three year project started on August 2018. However, due to the importance of the topic within current challenges as food security and climate change, this work is spread considering that may inspire other universities and organizations.
Using GIS and Map Data for the Analysis of the Relationship between Soil and Groundwater Quality at Saline Soil Area of Kham Sakaesaeng District, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand
The study area is Kham Sakaesaeng District in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, the south section of Northeastern Thailand, located in the Lower Khorat-Ubol Basin. This region is the one of saline soil area, located in a dry plateau and regularly experience standing with periods of floods and alternating with periods of drought. Especially, the drought in the summer season causes the major saline soil and saline water problems of this region. The general cause of dry land salting resulted from salting on irrigated land, and an excess of water leading to the rising water table in the aquifer. The purpose of this study is to determine the relationship of physical and chemical properties between the soil and groundwater. The soil and groundwater samples were collected in both rainy and summer seasons. The content of pH, electrical conductivity (EC), total dissolved solids (TDS), chloride and salinity were investigated. The experimental result of soil and groundwater samples show the slightly pH less than 7, EC (186 to 8,156 us/cm and 960 to 10,712 us/cm), TDS (93 to 3,940 ppm and 480 to 5,356 ppm), chloride content (45.58 to 4,177,015 mg/l and 227.90 to 9,216,736 mg/l), and salinity (0.07 to 4.82 ppt and 0.24 to 14.46 ppt) in the rainy and summer seasons, respectively. The distribution of chloride content and salinity content were interpolated and displayed as a map by using ArcMap 10.3 program, according to the season. The result of saline soil and brined groundwater in the study area were related to the low-lying topography, drought area, and salt-source exposure. Especially, the Rock Salt Member of Maha Sarakham Formation was exposed or lies near the ground surface in this study area. During the rainy season, salt was eroded or weathered from the salt-source rock formation and transported by surface flow or leached into the groundwater. In the dry season, the ground surface is dry enough resulting salt precipitates from the brined surface water or rises from the brined groundwater influencing the increasing content of chloride and salinity in the ground surface and groundwater.
Poultry Manure and Its Derived Biochar as a Soil Amendment for Newly Reclaimed Sandy Soils under Arid and Semi-Arid Conditions

Sandy soils under arid and semi-arid conditions are characterized by poor physical and biochemical properties such as low water retention, rapid organic matter decomposition, low nutrients use efficiency, and limited crop productivity. Addition of organic amendments is crucial to develop soil properties and consequently enhance nutrients use efficiency and lessen organic carbon decomposition. Two years field experiments were developed to investigate the feasibility of using poultry manure and its derived biochar integrated with different levels of N fertilizer as a soil amendment for newly reclaimed sandy soils in Western Desert of El-Minia Governorate, Egypt. Results of this research revealed that poultry manure and its derived biochar addition induced pronounced effects on soil moisture content at saturation point, field capacity (FC) and consequently available water. Data showed that application of poultry manure (PM) or PM-derived biochar (PMB) in combination with inorganic N levels had caused significant changes on a range of the investigated sandy soil biochemical properties including pH, EC, mineral N, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), dissolved organic N (DON) and quotient DOC/DON. Overall, the impact of PMB on soil physical properties was detected to be superior than the impact of PM, regardless the inorganic N levels. In addition, the obtained results showed that PM and PM application had the capacity to stimulate vigorous growth, nutritional status, production levels of wheat and sorghum, and to increase soil organic matter content and N uptake and recovery compared to control. By contrast, comparing between PM and PMB at different levels of inorganic N, the obtained results showed higher relative increases in both grain and straw yields of wheat in plots treated with PM than in those treated with PMB. The interesting feature of this research is that the biochar derived from PM increased treated sandy soil organic carbon (SOC) 1.75 times more than soil treated with PM itself at the end of cropping seasons albeit double-applied amount of PM. This was attributed to the higher carbon stability of biochar treated sandy soils increasing soil persistence for carbon decomposition in comparison with PM labile carbon. It could be concluded that organic manures applied to sandy soils under arid and semi-arid conditions are subjected to high decomposition and mineralization rates through crop seasons. Biochar derived from organic wastes considers as a source of stable carbon and could be very hopeful choice for substituting easily decomposable organic manures under arid conditions. Therefore, sustainable agriculture and productivity in newly reclaimed sandy soils desire one high rate addition of biochar derived from organic manures instead of frequent addition of such organic amendments.

Investigation of Effective Parameters on Pullout Capacity in Soil Nailing with Special Attention to International Design Codes

An important and influential factor in design and determining the safety factor in Soil Nailing is the ultimate pullout capacity, or, in other words, bond strength. This important parameter depends on several factors such as material and soil texture, method of implementation, excavation diameter, friction angle between the nail and the soil, grouting pressure, the nail depth (overburden pressure), the angle of drilling and the degree of saturation in soil. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), a customary regulation in the design of nailing, is considered only the effect of the soil type (or rock) and the method of implementation in determining the bond strength, which results in non-economic design. The other regulations are each of a kind, some of the parameters affecting bond resistance are not taken into account. Therefore, in the present paper, at first the relationships and tables presented by several valid regulations are presented for estimating the ultimate pullout capacity, and then the effect of several important factors affecting on ultimate Pullout capacity are studied. Finally, it was determined, the effect of overburden pressure (in method of injection with pressure), soil dilatation and roughness of the drilling surface on pullout strength is incremental, and effect of degree of soil saturation on pullout strength to a certain degree of saturation is increasing and then decreasing. therefore it is better to get help from nail pullout-strength test results and numerical modeling to evaluate the effect of parameters such as overburden pressure, dilatation, and degree of soil saturation, and so on to reach an optimal and economical design.

Numerical Investigation of Soft Clayey Soil Improved by Soil-Cement Columns under Harmonic Load

Deep soil mixing is one of the improvement methods in geotechnical engineering which is widely used in soft soils. This article investigates the consolidation behavior of a soft clay soil which is improved by soil-cement column (SCC) by numerical modeling using Plaxis2D program. This behavior is simulated under vertical static and cyclic load which is applied on the soil surface. The static load problem is the simulation of a physical model test in an axisymmetric condition which uses a single SCC in the model center. The results of numerical modeling consist of settlement of soft soil composite, stress on soft soil and column, and excessive pore water pressure in the soil show a good correspondence with the test results. The response of soft soil composite to the cyclic load in vertical direction also compared with the static results. Also the effects of two variables namely the cement content used in a SCC and the area ratio (the ratio of the diameter of SCC to the diameter of composite soil model, a) is investigated. The results show that the stress on the column with the higher value of a, is lesser compared with the stress on other columns. Different rate of consolidation and excessive pore pressure distribution is observed in cyclic load problem. Also comparing the results of settlement of soil shows higher compressibility in the cyclic load problem.

Numerical Evaluation of Lateral Bearing Capacity of Piles in Cement-Treated Soils

Soft soil is used in many of civil engineering projects like coastal, marine and road projects. Because of low shear strength and stiffness of soft soils, large settlement and low bearing capacity will occur under superstructure loads. This will make the civil engineering activities more difficult and costlier. In the case of soft soils, improvement is a suitable method to increase the shear strength and stiffness for engineering purposes. In recent years, the artificial cementation of soil by cement and lime has been extensively used for soft soil improvement. Cement stabilization is a well-established technique for improving soft soils. Artificial cementation increases the shear strength and hardness of the natural soils. On the other hand, in soft soils, the use of piles to transfer loads to the depths of ground is usual. By using cement treated soil around the piles, high bearing capacity and low settlement in piles can be achieved. In the present study, lateral bearing capacity of short piles in cemented soils is investigated by numerical approach. For this purpose, three dimensional (3D) finite difference software, FLAC 3D is used. Cement treated soil has a strain hardening-softening behavior, because of breaking of bonds between cement agent and soil particle. To simulate such behavior, strain hardening-softening soil constitutive model is used for cement treated soft soil. Additionally, conventional elastic-plastic Mohr Coulomb constitutive model and linear elastic model are used for stress-strain behavior of natural soils and pile. To determine the parameters of constitutive models and also for verification of numerical model, the results of available triaxial laboratory tests on and insitu loading of piles in cement treated soft soil are used. Different parameters are considered in parametric study to determine the effective parameters on the bearing of the piles on cemented treated soils. In the present paper, the effect of various length and height of the artificial cemented area, different diameter and length of the pile and the properties of the materials are studied. Also, the effect of choosing a constitutive model for cemented treated soils in the bearing capacity of the pile is investigated.

Numerical Investigation of Embankment Settlement Improved by Method of Preloading by Vertical Drains

Time dependent settlement due to loading on soft saturated soils produces many problems such as high consolidation settlements and low consolidation rates. Also, long term consolidation settlement of soft soil underlying the embankment leads to unpredicted settlements and cracks on soil surface. Preloading method is an effective improvement method to solve this problem. Using vertical drains in preloading method is an effective method for improving soft soils. Applying deep soil mixing method on soft soils is another effective method for improving soft soils. There are little studies on using two methods of preloading and deep soil mixing simultaneously. In this paper, the concurrent effect of preloading with deep soil mixing by vertical drains is investigated through a finite element code, Plaxis2D. The influence of parameters such as deep soil mixing columns spacing, existence of vertical drains and distance between them, on settlement and stability factor of safety of embankment embedded on soft soil is investigated in this research.

Effect of Core Puncture Diameter on Bio-Char Kiln Efficiency

Biochar has been used as a soil amendment since it has high porous structure and has proper nutrients and chemical properties for plants. Product yields produced from biochar kiln are dependent on process parameters and kiln types used. The objective of this research is to investigate the effect of core puncture diameter on biochar kiln efficiency, i.e., yields of biochar and produced gas. Corncobs were used as raw material to produce biochar. Briquettes from agricultural wastes were used as fuel. Each treatment was performed by changing the core puncture diameter. From the experiment, it is revealed that the yield of biochar at the core puncture diameter of 3.18 mm, 4.76 mm, and 6.35 mm was 10.62 wt. %, 24.12 wt. %, and 12.24 wt. %, of total solid yields, respectively. The yield of produced gas increased with increasing the core puncture diameter. The maximum percentage by weight of the yield of produced gas was 81.53 wt. % which was found at the core puncture diameter of 6.35 mm. The core puncture diameter was furthermore found to affect the temperature distribution inside the kiln and its thermal efficiency. In conclusion, the high efficient biochar kiln can be designed and constructed by using the proper core puncture diameter.

Effect of Confinement on the Bearing Capacity and Settlement of Spread Foundations

Allowable-bearing capacity is the competency of soil to safely carries the pressure from the superstructure without experiencing a shear failure with accompanying excessive settlements. Ensuring a safe bearing pressure with respect to failure does not tolerate settlement of the foundation will be within acceptable limits. Therefore, settlement analysis should always be performed since most structures are settlement sensitive. When visualising the movement of a soil wedge in the bearing capacity criterion, both vertically and horizontally, it becomes clear that by confining the soil surrounding the foundation, both the bearing capacity and settlement values improve. In this study, two sizes of spread foundation were considered; (2×4) m and (3×5) m. These represent two real problem case studies of an existing building. The foundations were analysed in terms of dimension as well as position with respect to a confining wall (i.e., sheet piles on both sides). Assuming B is the least foundation dimension, the study comprised the analyses of three distances; (0.1 B), (0.5 B), and (0.75 B) between the sheet piles and foundations alongside three depths of confinement (0.5 B), (1 B), and (1.5 B). Nonlinear three-dimensional finite element analysis (ANSYS) was adopted to perform an analytical investigation on the behaviour of the two foundations contained by the case study. Results showed that confinement of foundations reduced the overall stresses near the foundation by 65% and reduced the vertical displacement by 90%. Moreover, the most effective distance between the confinement wall and the foundation was found to be 0.5 B.

Displacement Fields in Footing-Sand Interactions under Cyclic Loading

Soils are subjected to cyclic loading in situ in situations such as during earthquakes and in the compaction of pavements. Investigations on the local scale measurement of the displacements of the grain and failure patterns within the soil bed under the cyclic loading conditions are rather limited. In this paper, using the digital particle image velocimetry (DPIV), local scale displacement fields of a dense sand medium interacting with a rigid footing are measured under the plane-strain condition for two commonly used types of cyclic loading, and the quasi-static loading condition for the purposes of comparison. From the displacement measurements of the grains, the failure envelopes of the sand media are also presented. The results show that, the ultimate cyclic bearing capacity (qultcyc) occurred corresponding to a relatively higher settlement value when compared with that of under the quasi-static loading. For the sand media under the cyclic loading conditions considered here, the displacement fields in the soil media occurred more widely in the horizontal direction and less deeper along the vertical direction when compared with that of under the quasi-static loading. The 'dead zone' in the sand grains beneath the footing is identified for all types of the loading conditions studied here. These grain-scale characteristics have implications on the resulting bulk bearing capacity of the sand media in footing-sand interaction problems.

Interaction of between Cd and Zn in Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) Plant for Phytoextraction Method

The aim of this research is to remediation of the cadmium (Cd) pollution in agricultural soils by using barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) plant. For this purpose, a pot experiment was done in greenhouse conditions. Cadmium (100 mg/kg) as CdSO4.8H2O forms was applied to each pot and incubated during 30 days. Then Ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) chelate was applied to each pot at five doses (0, 3, 6, 8 and 10 mmol/kg) 20 days before harvesting time of the barley plants. The plants were harvested after two months planting. According to the pot experiment results, Cd and Zn amounts of barley plant increased with increasing EDTA application and Zn and Cd contents of barley 20,13 and 1,35 mg/kg for 0 mmol /kg EDTA; 58,61 and 113,24 mg/kg for 10 mmol/kg EDTA doses, respectively. On the other hand, Cd and Zn concentrations of experiment soil increased with EDTA application to the soil samples. Zinc and Cd concentrations of soil 0,31 and 0,021 mg/kg for 0 mmol /kg EDTA; 2,39 and 67,40 mg/kg for 10 mmol/kg EDTA doses, respectively. These increases were found to be statistically significant at the level of 1 %. According to the results of the pot experiment, some heavy metal especially Cd pollution of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) plant province can be remediated by the phytoextraction method.

Comparative Study of Equivalent Linear and Non-Linear Ground Response Analysis for Rapar District of Kutch, India

Earthquakes are considered to be the most destructive rapid-onset disasters human beings are exposed to. The amount of loss it brings in is sufficient to take careful considerations for designing of structures and facilities. Seismic Hazard Analysis is one such tool which can be used for earthquake resistant design. Ground Response Analysis is one of the most crucial and decisive steps for seismic hazard analysis. Rapar district of Kutch, Gujarat falls in Zone 5 of earthquake zone map of India and thus has high seismicity because of which it is selected for analysis. In total 8 bore-log data were studied at different locations in and around Rapar district. Different soil engineering properties were analyzed and relevant empirical correlations were used to calculate maximum shear modulus (Gmax) and shear wave velocity (Vs) for the soil layers. The soil was modeled using Pressure-Dependent Modified Kodner Zelasko (MKZ) model and the reference curve used for fitting was Seed and Idriss (1970) for sand and Darendeli (2001) for clay. Both Equivalent linear (EL), as well as Non-linear (NL) ground response analysis, has been carried out with Masing Hysteretic Re/Unloading formulation for comparison. Commercially available DEEPSOIL v. 7.0 software is used for this analysis. In this study an attempt is made to quantify ground response regarding generated acceleration time-history at top of the soil column, Response spectra calculation at 5 % damping and Fourier amplitude spectrum calculation. Moreover, the variation of Peak Ground Acceleration (PGA), Maximum Displacement, Maximum Strain (in %), Maximum Stress Ratio, Mobilized Shear Stress with depth is also calculated. From the study, PGA values estimated in rocky strata are nearly same as bedrock motion and marginal amplification is observed in sandy silt and silty clays by both analyses. The NL analysis gives conservative results of maximum displacement as compared to EL analysis. Maximum strain predicted by both studies is very close to each other. And overall NL analysis is more efficient and realistic because it follows the actual hyperbolic stress-strain relationship, considers stiffness degradation and mobilizes stresses generated due to pore water pressure.

Comparing Field Displacement History with Numerical Results to Estimate Geotechnical Parameters: Case Study of Arash-Esfandiar-Niayesh under Passing Tunnel, 2.5 Traffic Lane Tunnel, Tehran, Iran

Underground structures are of those structures that have uncertainty in design procedures. That is due to the complexity of soil condition around. Under passing tunnels are also such affected structures. Despite geotechnical site investigations, lots of uncertainties exist in soil properties due to unknown events. As results, it possibly causes conflicting settlements in numerical analysis with recorded values in the project. This paper aims to report a case study on a specific under passing tunnel constructed by New Austrian Tunnelling Method in Iran. The intended tunnel has an overburden of about 11.3m, the height of 12.2m and, the width of 14.4m with 2.5 traffic lane. The numerical modeling was developed by a 2D finite element program (PLAXIS Version 8). Comparing displacement histories at the ground surface during the entire installation of initial lining, the estimated surface settlement was about four times the field recorded one, which indicates that some local unknown events affect that value. Also, the displacement ratios were in a big difference between the numerical and field data. Consequently, running several numerical back analyses using laboratory and field tests data, the geotechnical parameters were accurately revised to match with the obtained monitoring data. Finally, it was found that usually the values of soil parameters are conservatively low-estimated up to 40 percent by typical engineering judgment. Additionally, it could be attributed to inappropriate constitutive models applied for the specific soil condition.

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