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The pyroclastic deposits, known as Tierra Blanca Joven, underlie most of metropolitan San Salvador and other areas surrounding Lake Ilopango. The Tierra Blanca Joven deposits are products of a complex sequence of pyroclastic flows and falls that occurred during the A.D. 430 eruption of Ilopango Caldera. Very fine, compact white ash-lapilli predominates in both flow and fall units. Laboratory tests carried out on high-quality, undisturbed Tierra Blanca Joven samples show negative pore-water pressures and weak cementation. They also reveal how the strength and compressibility of these sediments can change significantly when the suction and bonding are lost upon soaking or...

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