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Relationship between the Shear Strength and Microscopic Pore Parameters of Saline Soil with Different Freeze-Thaw Cycles and Salinities

1
College of Construction Engineering, Jilin University, Changchun 130026, China
2
Water Conservancy and Hydropower Survey and Design Institute of Jilin Province, Changchun 130021, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Symmetry 2020, 12(10), 1709; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym12101709
Received: 20 September 2020 / Revised: 12 October 2020 / Accepted: 14 October 2020 / Published: 16 October 2020
Saline soil is a widely distributed special soil with poor engineering properties. In seasonally frozen regions, the poor properties of saline soil will cause many types of engineering damage such as road boiling, melt sinking, and subgrade instability. These engineering failures are closely related to the shear strength of saline soil. However, there are relatively few studies on saline soil in cold regions. The strength of the soil is always determined by its microstructure; therefore, the study aims to investigate the relationship between the shear strength and microscopic pore structure of saline soil with different freeze–thaw cycles and salinities. The shear strength characteristics of saline soil with different salinities subjected to different freeze–thaw cycles were obtained by triaxial tests. In addition, the microstructure of the soil samples was investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) tests, and the microscopic pore parameters of the soil samples, including porosity (N), average pore diameter (D¯), average shape coefficient (K), surface fluctuation fractal dimension (F), and orienting probability entropy (Hm), were obtained by image processing software quantitatively. Based on the experimental results, the influence of freeze–thaw cycles and salinity on the shear strength characteristics and microstructure of the soil samples were analyzed. Besides that, in order to effectively eliminate the collinearity between independent variables and obtain a stable and reasonable regression model, principal component regression (PCR) analysis was adopted to establish the relationship between the microscopic pore parameters and the failure strength of the soil samples. The fitting results demonstrated that the failure strength of saline soil is mainly related to the size and direction of the pores in the soil, and it has little correlation with pore shape. The failure strength of the soil was negatively correlated with the average pore diameter (D¯) and porosity (N), and it was positively correlated with the orienting probability entropy of the pores (Hm). This study may provide a quantitative basis for explaining the variation mechanism of the mechanical properties of saline soil from a microscopic perspective and provide references for the symmetry between the changes of the macroscopic properties and microscopic pore structure of the saline soil in cold regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: saline soil; seasonally frozen region; shear strength; microscopic pore structure; quantitative analysis; principal component regression analysis saline soil; seasonally frozen region; shear strength; microscopic pore structure; quantitative analysis; principal component regression analysis
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Wang, J.; Wang, Q.; Lin, S.; Han, Y.; Cheng, S.; Wang, N. Relationship between the Shear Strength and Microscopic Pore Parameters of Saline Soil with Different Freeze-Thaw Cycles and Salinities. Symmetry 2020, 12, 1709.

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