Strain-rate effects in Mexico City soil

J. Abraham Díaz-Rodríguez*, J. José Martinez-Vasquez, J. Carlos Santamarina

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Mexico City soil has very high specific surface, plasticity and void ratio; its natural structure is preserved until the yield pressure σ′y, which is typically above the in situ effective stress σ′v, and the mechanical response changes significantly when the effective confining stress σ′o exceeds the yield pressure σ′y. In this study, the effects of strain rate on the undrained response of Mexico City soil are explored using undisturbed specimens subjected to monotonic triaxial compression tests at a constant rate of deformation. Results show that strain-rate effects on undrained strength and mode of failure depend on σ′y σ′o, hence, on the degree of natural structure preserved in the specimen. Undrained strength increase with strain rate, particularly in the more structured specimens (i.e., higher σ′yσ′o). The role of σ′yσ′o on strain-rate effects in this unremolded natural soil resembles the effect of overconsolidation ratio on resedimented specimens. The limitations in using standard triaxial equipment for strain-rate effect studies are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-305
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Deposition
  • Mexico
  • Soil structures
  • Strain rate
  • Strength
  • Triaxial compression
  • Undisturbed soils

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • General Environmental Science


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