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Article

An Investigation into the Water Retention Behaviour of an Unsaturated Natural Fissured Clay

1
Department of Civil, Environmental, Land, Building Engineering and Chemistry, Polytechnic University of Bari, 70126 Bari, Italy
2
Department of Civil, Maritime and Environmental Engineering Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton SO16 7QF, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering, University of Trento, 38123 Trento, Italy.
Academic Editor: Maria Mavroulidou
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(19), 9533; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12199533
Received: 20 August 2022 / Revised: 16 September 2022 / Accepted: 20 September 2022 / Published: 22 September 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Unsaturated Soils: Testing and Modelling)
The presence of intensely fissured soils is often found to relate to high geotechnical risks, such as landslide risk. This is especially the case of the Southern Apennines, Italy, where slopes formed of intensely fissured clays are frequently affected by landslides. The latter are generally triggered by rainfall infiltration, which takes place through the outcropping, unsaturated clayey soil cover. With the final aim of reducing landslide risk in areas covered by fissured clays, a detailed hydro-mechanical characterisation of these materials is required. While the behaviour of fully saturated fissured clays has been investigated in the last decade, only a few studies dealing with unsaturated, natural fissured clays are reported in the literature. The present paper aims to give a contribution toward filling this gap by extending an investigation campaign started a few years ago on the Paola Doce fissured clay outcropping on the Pisciolo slope (Southern Apennines, Italy). The physical properties of the material and some of its key micro- to meso-structural features are first analysed, the latter also based on Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) micrographs of an undisturbed sample taken at 1.4 m depth on the Pisciolo slope, which is mainly formed of Paola Doce clay. Subsequently, water retention data of the soil are presented, which were obtained using both high-capacity tensiometers and the filter paper technique. These data were collected not only on undisturbed samples but also while subjecting the same material to drying paths. The results herein reported aim to make a link between the water retention behaviour of the Paola Doce clay sampled at Pisciolo and its fissured structure. View Full-Text
Keywords: natural fissured clay; unsaturated soil; filter paper; tensiometer; water retention curve natural fissured clay; unsaturated soil; filter paper; tensiometer; water retention curve
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pedone, G.; Cotecchia, F.; Tagarelli, V.; Bottiglieri, O.; Murthy, M.B.N. An Investigation into the Water Retention Behaviour of an Unsaturated Natural Fissured Clay. Appl. Sci. 2022, 12, 9533. https://doi.org/10.3390/app12199533

AMA Style

Pedone G, Cotecchia F, Tagarelli V, Bottiglieri O, Murthy MBN. An Investigation into the Water Retention Behaviour of an Unsaturated Natural Fissured Clay. Applied Sciences. 2022; 12(19):9533. https://doi.org/10.3390/app12199533

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pedone, Giuseppe, Federica Cotecchia, Vito Tagarelli, Osvaldo Bottiglieri, and Madhusudhan B. N. Murthy. 2022. "An Investigation into the Water Retention Behaviour of an Unsaturated Natural Fissured Clay" Applied Sciences 12, no. 19: 9533. https://doi.org/10.3390/app12199533

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