Soft Rock Geo-Characterization Technique and its Significant Behavior in Tropical Climate


Zainab Mohamed

Faculty of Civil Engineering, Universiti Technologi Mara, Malaysia


Geotechnical engineering work involves characterization, classification, and interpretation of ground behavior for the design of geotechnical structure. Soft rock is defined as geotechnical material between rocks and clays by virtue of upper strength for hard clay and the overlap between extremely weak rock and the categories of very stiff and hard clays. Despite many structures that are found on soft rock, little attention has been made so far to either understand the detailed behavior of soft rocks or to correlate the different approaches of soil and rock mechanics to the solution of engineering problems involving these materials. Previously, characterization of soft rock was made by descriptive approach and its strength prediction was made to the equivalent uniaxial compressive strength. However, those test methods were not able to quantify the critical swell and shrinkage behavior of soft rock, a significant geohazard behavior in wet tropical climate. This paper elaborates a research finding and the geo-technology reviewed method of characterizing the soft rock propensity against swell, shrink and collapse potential. The innovation of e-SSC test kit has established a systematic and computerized method of testing and laboratory procedure to quantify the swell and shrink characteristics of soft rock for classification purposes. The experimental set-up has multi-abilities to quantify and characterize the real time strain series of geomaterial propensity to swell, shrink and collapse potential.

Keywords: rock characterization, soft rock, swell, shrinkage, collapse potential

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