Geology Project Topics

Investigation of Cement and Lime Stabilization of Marine Clay

Investigation of Cement and Lime Stabilization of Marine Clay

Investigation of Cement and Lime Stabilization of Marine Clay


Aim and objectives of the study

The main aim of this study is to carry out an investigation of cement and lime stabilization of marine clay.

The following are the specific objectives of the study:

  1. To examine the properties of marine clay soil.
  2. To determine the effect of Lime, Cement and Lime + Cement on the Dry Density and Optimum Moisture Content.
  3. To determine the effect of Lime, Cement and Lime + Cement on the Californian Bearing Ratio (CBR)Values.



Description of soil

The term “soil” according to Ranjan and Rao (2005) has different connotations for scientists belonging to different disciplines. The definition given to soil by an agriculturalists or geologist is different from the one used by civil engineer (Ranjan and Rao, 2005). To an agriculturalist, soil merely means the top layer of the earth which is responsible for supporting plant life and to geologist, soil is the thin outer layer of loose sediments within which plant roots are present (Ranjan and Rao, 2005). Ranjan and Rao, (2005) further argued that, a geologist refers to the rest of earth‟s crust as rock irrespective of how strong or weak the bonding forces of the sediments are. To a civil engineer and builder, soils mean all-natural occurring, relatively unconsolidated earth material-organic or inorganic in character that lies above the bedrock (Ranjan and Rao, 2005)

Smith and Smith (2003) explained soil as the actions of frost temperature, gravity, wind, rain and chemical weathering are continually forming rock particles that eventually become soils. According to Atkinson (2000), the term “soil” means different things to different people, to geologist it represents the products of past surface processes, to a pedologist it represents currently occurring physical and chemical processes and to a civil engineer and builder, it is a natural material that can be built on (e.g. foundation to building, bridge) built in (like, tunnels, culverts, basements), built with (like roads, runways, embankments, dams), supported (like retaining walls, quays). As opined by Smith and Smith (2003) there are three types of soil when considering modes of formation; these are, transported soil, residual soil and organic soil.

According to Craig (2005), it is essential that a standard language should exist for the description of soil and a comprehensive description should include the characteristics of both the soil material and the in-situ soil mass. He further discussed that material characteristics can be determined from disturbed samples of the soil, i.e. samples having the same particle size distribution as the in-situ soil but in which the in-situ structure has not been preserved. Smith and Smith (2003) posited that soil classification system have been in use for a very long time the first being created some 4000 years ago by Chinese engineer 1896, a soil classification system was proposed by the Bureau of soils, United States Department Agriculture in which the various soil types were classified purely on particle size and it is interesting to note that, the limiting sizes used are more or less the same as those in use today. Further improved systems allowed for the plasticity characteristics of soil and a modified form of the system proposed by casagrande in 1974 is the basis of the soil classification system used in Britain (Smith and Smith, 2003). Atkinson (2000) argued that it is necessary to adopt a formal system of soil description and classification in order to describe the various   materials found in ground investigation such a system must be comprehensive (covering all but rarest of deposit), meaningful in engineering context (so that civil engineers and builders will be able to understand and interpret) and yet relatively concise. He further explained that it is important to distinguish between soil descriptions and soil classification. Craig (2005) shares the same view. Description of soil is a statement describing the physical and nature and the state of the soil. It can be a description of a sample, or a soil in situ. It is arrived at using visual examination, simple tests, observations of site conditions, geological history etc. (Atkinson, 2000). Soil classification on the other hand is the separation of soil into classes or groups each having similar behavior. A classification for engineering purposes should be based mainly on mechanical properties such as permeability, stiffness, strength. The class to which a soil belongs be used in its description (Atkinson, 2000).

Craig (2005) pointed out the fact that the principal material characteristics are particle size distribution (or grading) and plasticity, from which the soil name can be deduced. He claims that particle size distribution and plasticity properties can be determined either by standard laboratory tests or by simple visual and manual procedures, the secondary material characteristics are the colour of the soil and the shape, texture and composition of the particles. Mass characteristics should ideally be determined in the field but in many cases, they can be detected in undisturbed samples such as samples in which the in-situ soil structure has been essentially preserved. A description of mass characteristics should include an assessment of in-situ compactive state (coarse soils) or stiffness (fine soils) and details of any bedding, discontinuities and weathering (Craig, 2005). Soil description includes details of both material and characteristics, and therefore it is unlikely that any two soils will have identical descriptions, while in soil classification, a soil is allocated to one of a limited number of groups on the basis of material characteristics only and this independent of the in-situ condition of the soil mass.




Collection of samples

The marine clay was collected from Port Harcourt Seaport. Soft marine clays are very sensitive to changes in the stress system, moisture content and system chemistry of the pore fluid. The soil is black in colour, soil lies above A-line of unified soil classification system (USCS) and is classified as inorganic clay of high plasticity. The properties of the soil are presented in Table 3.1.

Lime was bought at Rumuokoro Market and collected in a polythene bag. The samples were preserved in a cool and dry place to prevent contamination prior to laboratory analysis.


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