Relationship between soil structure mechanical behavior for an expansive unsaturated clay

Linchang Miao, Sandra Houston, Ying Cui, Junping Yuan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


To investigate the soil structure and mechanical behavior of an unsaturated expansive clay soil, triaxial and mercury intrusion tests have been performed and are presented in this paper. Also an optical test system was developed for studying the internal structure evolution of the unsaturated expansive soil during shear-loading tests. The research results show a linear relationship between the cohesion intercept and the degree of saturation of the unsaturated clay for the test data. For the tested soil, the pore-size distribution curves were found to be bimodal. The measurement results from mercury intrusion tests confirm that the micropores of Guangxi expansive soils of this study remain constant, and that the macropores vary with the dry density of soil samples. Comparing the volumetric strain curves with the soil particle area curves, some correlation and dependence on the macropore variation of soil samples during shear-loading tests can be shown to exist.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)126-137
Number of pages12
JournalCanadian Geotechnical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2007


  • Expansive clay
  • Mechanical behavior
  • Mercury intrusion
  • Soil structure
  • Unsaturated soil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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