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Article

The Trend of Permeability of Loess in Yili, China, under Freeze–Thaw Cycles and Its Microscopic Mechanism

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School of Geology and Mining Engineering, Xinjiang University, Urumqi 830046, China
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State Key Laboratory for Geomechanics and Deep Underground Engineering, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou 221116, China
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Geological Environment Monitoring Institute of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Urumqi 830091, China
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The First Regional Geological Survey Brigade of Geological and Mineral Exploration and Development Bureau of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Urumqi 830011, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Maria Mimikou and Jan Wesseling
Water 2021, 13(22), 3257; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223257
Received: 9 September 2021 / Revised: 13 November 2021 / Accepted: 15 November 2021 / Published: 17 November 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology)
Loess landslides induced by the freeze–thaw effect frequently occur in Yili, China. Freeze–thaw cycles cause indelible changes in the soil microstructure, affecting its permeability. This study investigated the impacts of freeze–thaw cycles on the permeability of Yili loess using permeability tests on undisturbed (virgin, in situ) and remolded loess samples taken before and after freeze–thaw cycles. Scanning electron microscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance techniques were utilized to investigate the microscopic mechanism of the freeze–thaw process on the loess. Grey relation analysis (GRA) was employed to analyze the correlation between macroscopic permeability and microscopic parameters (maxi. radius, eccentricity, fractal dimension, directional probability entropy, and porosity). The results revealed that the permeability and all the microstructure parameters have roughly shown the same trend: “fluctuation–towards equilibrium–stability”. Firstly, the permeability coefficients of original and remolded loess experienced three and two peaked–trends, respectively, before 30 freeze–thaw cycles. The trends eventually stabilized within 30–60 freeze–thaw cycles. Increased number of freeze–thaw cycles disintegrated large particles in undisturbed loess into medium–sized particles, and particle shapes became more uncomplicated. Medium–sized particles in the remolded loess agglomerated to larger particles with more complex shapes. Furthermore, the overall porosity of the originally undisturbed loess decreased, and large and medium–sized pores transformed into small pores and micropores. In contrast, the overall porosity of remolded loess increased. Finally, the results revealed that permeability coefficients of the undisturbed and remolded loess became closely related with eccentricity and porosity, respectively. This study provides a reference for preventing and governing the loess landslides induced by the freeze–thaw cycles and permeability reduction in construction on loess in seasonally frozen areas in Yili. View Full-Text
Keywords: freeze-thaw cycles; Yili; loess; permeability; microstructure; grey relation freeze-thaw cycles; Yili; loess; permeability; microstructure; grey relation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lv, Q.; Zhang, Z.; Zhang, T.; Hao, R.; Guo, Z.; Huang, X.; Zhu, J.; Liu, T. The Trend of Permeability of Loess in Yili, China, under Freeze–Thaw Cycles and Its Microscopic Mechanism. Water 2021, 13, 3257. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223257

AMA Style

Lv Q, Zhang Z, Zhang T, Hao R, Guo Z, Huang X, Zhu J, Liu T. The Trend of Permeability of Loess in Yili, China, under Freeze–Thaw Cycles and Its Microscopic Mechanism. Water. 2021; 13(22):3257. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223257

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lv, Qianli, Zizhao Zhang, Tiandong Zhang, Ruihua Hao, Zezhou Guo, Xuebang Huang, Jianhua Zhu, and Tianchao Liu. 2021. "The Trend of Permeability of Loess in Yili, China, under Freeze–Thaw Cycles and Its Microscopic Mechanism" Water 13, no. 22: 3257. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223257

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