Compacted clay layers are often used in impervious barrier systems to prevent the migration of water and pollutants. Environmental factors, acting during or after the clay deposition, may affect the layer integrity and induce a variation of hydraulic conductivity over time. The aim of the present research is to assess this variation when induced by freeze-thaw cycles. The paper summarizes some results of tests performed on a series of clayey silt samples, reconstituted at various levels of compaction energy and subjected to cyclic freezing according to a controlled and repeatable procedure, set to reproduce the natural environmental conditions. The hydraulic conductivity is evaluated directly from a flexible wall permeameter and indirectly from oedometric tests. The results show the consequences of cyclic freezing in relation to the compaction level and lead to insights into the development of fracture networks responsible for the increase in hydraulic conductivity.
Sterpi, D. (2015). Effect of freeze-thaw cycles on the hydraulic conductivity of a compacted clayey silt and influence of the compaction energy. Soils and Foundations, 55(5), 1326–1332. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sandf.2015.09.030