Abstract

Water plays an important role in governing the properties and behaviour of engineering soils. The amount of water a soil can retain depends not only on the nature of soil, including its mineral composition, texture and structure, but also on the type and concentration of the salts dissolved in the water. In this experimental study, samples of a siliciclastic aeolian soil are mixed separately with different concentrations of salt water. The mixing waters used in these experiments are representative of the groundwaters encountered in different types of sabkhas occurring near the coastal town of Dahban in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. A number of graphs are prepared to display relationships between the salinity of the mixing water and the amount of water that is retained by the soil at different temperatures. In general, the higher the salinity of the groundwater, the greater is the amount of water retained by the sabkha. For the same drying temperature, the rate of moisture decrease diminishes with time. The maximum rate of moisture decrease is experienced by the soil mixed with the least concentrated salt solution.

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