Fines Classification Based on Sensitivity to Pore-Fluid Chemistry

Junbong Jang, Carlos Santamarina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


The 75-μm particle size is used to discriminate between fine and coarse grains. Further analysis of fine grains is typically based on the plasticity chart. Whereas pore-fluid-chemistry-dependent soil response is a salient and distinguishing characteristic of fine grains, pore-fluid chemistry is not addressed in current classification systems. Liquid limits obtained with electrically contrasting pore fluids (deionized water, 2-M NaCl brine, and kerosene) are combined to define the soil "electrical sensitivity." Liquid limit and electrical sensitivity can be effectively used to classify fine grains according to their fluid-soil response into no-, low-, intermediate-, or high-plasticity fine grains of low, intermediate, or high electrical sensitivity. The proposed methodology benefits from the accumulated experience with liquid limit in the field and addresses the needs of a broader range of geotechnical engineering problems. © ASCE.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)06015018
JournalJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 28 2015

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: Support for this research was provided by the DOE, the Goizueta Foundation, and KAUST's endowment. Adrian Garcia helped gather experimental data. Colleagues and anonymous reviewers provided valuable insight, detailed comments, and related information.


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