NAMES OF SOME SOILS THAT ARE GENERALLY USED IN CIVIL ENGINEERING PRACTICE


Bentonite is a clay formed by the decomposition of volcanic ash with a high content of montmorillonite. It exhibits the properties of clay to an extreme degree.

Varved Clays consist of thin alternating layers of silt and fat clays of glacial origin. They possess the undesirable properties of both silt and clay. The constituents of varved clays were transported into fresh water lakes by the melted ice at the close of the ice age.

Kaolin, China Clay are very pure forms of white clay used in the ceramic industry.

Boulder Clay is a mixture of an unstratified sedimented deposit of glacial clay, containing unsorted rock fragments of all sizes ranging from boulders, cobbles, and gravel to finely pulverized clay material.

Calcareous Soil is a soil containing calcium carbonate. Such soil effervesces when tested with weak hydrochloric acid.

Marl consists of a mixture of calcareous sands, clays, or loam.

Hardpan is a relatively hard, densely cemented soil layer, like rock which does not soften when wet.

Boulder clays or glacial till is also sometimes named as hardpan.

Caliche is an admixture of clay, sand, and gravel cemented by calcium carbonate deposited from ground water.

Peat is a fibrous aggregate of finer fragments of decayed vegetable matter. Peat is very compressible and one should be cautious when using it for supporting foundations of structures.

Loam is a mixture of sand, silt and clay.

Loess is a fine-grained, air-borne deposit characterized by a very uniform grain size, and high void ratio. The size of particles ranges between about 0.01 to 0.05 mm. The soil can stand deep vertical cuts because of slight cementation between particles. It is formed in dry continental regions and its color is yellowish light brown.

Shale is a material in the state of transition from clay to slate. Shale itself is sometimes considered a rock but, when it is exposed to the air or has a chance to take in water it may rapidly decompose.

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